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

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

RCE/National Stage Kerfuffle: PTO Creates a Nightmare Scenario

Attorney: Vincent K. Shier, Ph.D.
August 6, 2020

Much has been written lately about the USPTO's recent enforcement of its controversial interpretation of filing Requests for Continued Examination (RCE) in National Stage applications (i.e., applications under 35 U.S.C. ยง371) where the oath/declaration was not filed prior to filing the RCE. This post will not address the legal merits of the USPTO's position.... Read more

An Automated Notification System for Providing Advance Notification of the Pickup or Delivery of Goods was Found Patent Ineligible

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
July 20, 2020

Electronic Communication Technologies, LLC (“ECT”) sued ShoppersChoice.com, LLC (“ShoppersChoice”), alleging that ShoppersChoice infringed claim 11 of U.S. Patent 9,373,261 (“the ’261 patent”). The district court granted ShoppersChoice’s motion for judgment on the pleadings that claim 11 was invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. ECT appealed. The Federal Circuit (“the Court”) affirmed the judgment of the district court.<... Read more

Can One Have Too Many Patents?

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
July 7, 2020

As is common with a blockbuster drug, AbbVie's Humira faced an antitrust challenge from third-party payers. The third-party payers filed an antitrust action claiming AbbVie's patent strategy stifled competition by forcing prospective competitors to settle on terms allowing Humira to enjoy a monopoly long after patent protection should have ended. The complaint alleges that AbbVie cornered the market for Humira and its biosimilars by obtaining a thicket of patents which allowed it to gain the market power it needed to prevent competitors from entering the U.S. market (violation of Sherman Act section 2). It used this market power to enter into settlement agreements with potential competitors to keep their products out of the U.S. market in return for early launch dates in Europe, also an important market which they termed a pay-for delay and market division (violation of Sherman Act section 1). Judge Shah, of the Northern District of Illinois, dismissed the complaint without prejudice on June 8, 2020. The opinion begins with a discussion of three reasons Humira might hold its commanding position foreshadowing his decision. First, the more than one hundred Humira-related patents made it difficult if not impossible to seek a non-infringing competing product.... Read more

Final Rules on PTA Calculations in View of Supernus

Attorney: Vincent K. Shier, Ph.D.
June 24, 2020

Although long overdue, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released its Final Rule Patent Term Adjustment Reductions in View of the Federal Circuit Decision in Supernus Pharm., Inc. v. Iancu (85 Fed. Reg. 36335-36342, June 16, 2020). Unfortunately, the Final Rule does not fully address Supernus.<... Read more

Requirements Under COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program

Attorney: Marina I. Miller, Ph.D.
June 8, 2020

The USPTO has launched a new Covid-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program to help small and micro entities. The USPTO will accept requests for prioritized examination of up to 500 qualifying patent applications without requiring payment of certain fees associated with prioritized examination. Under this pilot, the USPTO will advance out of turn certain patent applications related to COVID-19 for examination, resulting in their prioritized examination. The USPTO aims to provide final disposition of patent applications in the pilot in one year or less after it grants prioritized status. <... Read more

USPTO Launches "IP Marketplace" Related to COVID-19

Attorney: Daniel J. Pereira, Ph.D.
May 6, 2020

The USPTO created a web-based platform that identifies patents that may be useful in the creation of technologies to combat the coronavirus/COVID-19 disease (https://developer.uspto.gov/ipmarketplace/search/patents). The website lists various patents and patent publications, seven pages with about 24 per page, that include links to the patents or publications, Issue/Publication dates and other bibliographic information. There is also a column indicating if Licensing is available for the patents/patent applications listed. The patents and applications listed have been apparently asked by the patentee/patent applicant to be included (from the tab “About the Platform):<... Read more

USPTO Decides an "Inventor" as a "Natural Person"

Attorney: Richard D. Kelly
April 28, 2020

The USPTO has published an apparently January 2020 Commissioner Decision effectively precluding the filing of patent applications where the invention was made solely by artificial Intelligence (AI). This decision has implications in the pharmaceutical industry where the use of AI to identify new compounds or uses for old compounds is utilizing AI. It also provides some guidance as to how the problem may be avoided.<... Read more