Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on Affordable Care Act: Will Biosimilars Survive?

Attorney: Lisa M. Mandrusiak
November 10, 2020

Today the Supreme Court heard arguments in Texas v. Azar that the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional.  According to the ruling in the underlying case, in the absence of the individual mandate, the rest of the ACA cannot stand.<... Read more

Where Have All the Bio/Pharma IPRs Gone?

Attorney: Lisa M. Mandrusiak
October 27, 2020

The IPR program in general has been wildly successful in its intended purpose of providing a lower-cost alternative to patent litigation, and the number of filings has remained relatively steady (though there were somewhat less in 2019 and 2020 as compared to previous years). The same is not true of IPRs filed in the TC 1600 space.<... Read more

Must a "Human Antibody" Be Entirely Human? Or May It Also Be "Partially Human?"

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
October 16, 2020

This is a consolidated appeal from two Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) decisions in inter partes reviews (“IPRs”) of U.S. Patent 8,679,487 (“the ’487 patent”), owned by Immunex Corp. (“Immunex”). Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, Genzyme Corp., and Regeneron Pharmaceuti-cals, Inc. (“Sanofi”) challenged the ’487 patent. The Board invalidated all challenged claims in IPR 2017-01884. Immunex appealed, contesting the construction of the claim term “human antibodies.” The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“the Court”) agreed with the Board’s claim construction and affirmed the invalidity decision.<... Read more

Safe Harbor (35 U.S.C. 271(e)(1)) and Medical Devices

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
October 13, 2020

In two decisions this year district courts have addressed the “safe harbor” provision of 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(1) in motions to dismiss a patent infringement count. The first involved the display of artificial heart valves by Meril Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. (Meril) at the 2019 Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics Conference (“TCT Conference”) in San Francisco, California. Edwards Life Sciences Corporation (Edwards) asserted that the display infringed its 5 patents on the displayed valves under §§ 271(a) and (g) by importing the valves made using its patented process. Meril defended by asserting that such display was protected by the safe harbor provision. The facts were not favorable. First, Meril did not have a marketing application pending with the FDA. While a pending application is unnecessary there must be evidence that the acts were calculated to lead to the possible submission of such evidence. See Merck KGaA v. Integra Lifesciences I, Ltd., 545 U.S. 193, 202 (2005).    Alternatively, the activity was at least in part to attract clinical investigators for FDA trails. See Telectronics Pacing Systems, Inc. v. Ventritex, Inc., 982 F.2d 1520, 1523 (Fed. Cir. 1992). There was no evidence that defendants  recruited or could have recruited investigators for studies that could be submitted to the FDA. Edwards asserted that Meril’s sole objective was to promote sales in Europe. Thus, Teletronics was deemed irrelevant.<... Read more

GSK vs. Teva: Induced Infringement, Skinny Labels and Fat Damages

Attorney: Jeffrey B. McIntyre
October 6, 2020

Last week, in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) v. Teva, the Federal Circuit reversed the district court's granting of judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) of no induced infringement by Teva. The JMOL had reversed a jury verdict finding of induced infringement by Teva. The Federal Circuit also sustained the jury's award of $234 million to GSK.... Read more

When are Recombinant Proteins Structurally Different Than Their Natural Counterparts?

Attorney: Daniel J. Pereira, Ph.D.
September 29, 2020

The answer to this question was central to the remand for a new trial on a judgement as a matter of law (JMOL) decision from the District Court overturning the jury verdict of anticipation in the Federal Circuit’s September 28, 2020 decision in Biogen MA Inc. v EMD Serono, Inv. Pfizer Inc. See http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/19-1133.OPINION.9-28-2020_1659873.pdf.<... Read more

The USPTO Strikes Again: More First Action Final Rejections = More Money + Diminished Quality

Attorney: Vincent K. Shier, Ph.D.
September 17, 2020

While looking at a first action final rejection after an RCE that I received this week from an Examiner that I respect, I was asking myself why I had received what appeared to be such a shockingly improper action. The answer was provided to me during part of the on-going IPO annual meeting.... Read more

USPTO Launches National Council for Expanding American Innovation

Attorney: Daniel J. Pereira, Ph.D.
September 16, 2020

On Monday, September 14, 2020, the USPTO issued a press release announcing the launch of "a major initiative aimed at expanding invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the United States." As the USPTO describes, the initiative stems from recommendations to facilitate women and minority participation in innovation and invention because the USPTO's own 2018 "Success Act" study found that both women and minorities were underrepresented in patents as inventors.... Read more

Invalidity Based on Enablement: McRO, Inc. dba Planet Blue v. Bandai Namco Games America Inc., et al., No. 2019-1577 (Fed. Cir. May 20, 2020)

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
September 1, 2020

McRO, Inc. (“McRO”) filed a lawsuit against multiple video game developers (“the Developers”), alleging that the Developers infringed three method claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,611,278 (“the ‘278 patent”), owned by McRO. The district court held the claims invalid for ineligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101, but the Federal Circuit (“the Court”) reversed that holding in McRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games America Inc., 837 F.3d 1299 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (McRO I). On remand, the district court held that the Developers were entitled to summary judgment of non-infringement, because the accused products do not practice the claimed methods and to summary judgment of invalidity because the specification fails to enable the full scope of the claims. McRO appealed.<... Read more

Indefiniteness: Bad Translation, Lack of Definition or Both?

Attorney: Daniel J. Pereira, Ph.D.
August 17, 2020

The Federal Circuit affirms the lower court ruling that “half-liquid” translated from the original Italian “semiliquido” is indefinite in IBSA Institut Biochimique, S.A., Altergon, S.A., IBSA Pharma Inc. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. (Fed. Cir. July 31, 2020). http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/19-2400.OPINION.7-31-2020_1628842.pdf<... Read more