In Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. v. Breckenridge Pharmaceutical Inc., Novartis scored another obviousness-type double patenting (OTDP) win when the Federal Circuit held that a post-URAA child patent could not be cited as an OTDP reference against a pre-URAA parent patent having the same priority date, and upheld the validity of an Orange Book-listed patent for Novartis’s Zortress® and Afinitor® products. This decision was issued the same day the Federal Circuit held that a patent term extension award does not itself raise OTDP issues, upholding the validity of Novartis’s Galenya® product patent.
In Novartis AG v. Ezra Ventures LLC, the Federal Circuit addressed “the interplay between a patent term extension (PTE) granted pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 156 and the obviousness-type double patenting doctrine.” In upholding the Novartis Gilenya patent, the court confirmed that the statute permits an extended product patent to “effectively” block the practice of an earlier-expiring method patent, and refused to elevate the judicially-created doctrine of obviousness-type double patenting over the statutory grant of PTE. Pharmaceutical patent owners will welcome this decision as reinforcing the validity of patents during their PTE term, and may consider how it might apply to similar circumstances raised by a patent term adjustment (PTA) award.
Recently the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) revised several of its Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), including PTAB SOP 1 which relates to how Administrative Patent Judges (APJs) are assigned to cases. SOP 1 also explains why a panel might change, and the limited use of expanded panels.
In an opinion issued November 19, 2018, Judge Chesler of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey found two Orange Book-listed patents for VIMOVO® invalid for indefiniteness in the way certain pharmacokinetic (PK) properties were recited. The opinion supports the court’s summary judgement of invalidity of the patents.
In Yeda Research & Development Co., v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Federal Circuit affirmed the decisions of the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) finding three Copaxone patents invalid as obvious in parallel Inter Partes review (IPR) proceedings. The companion decision pertaining to related district court litigation caught my attention for its use of originally confidential statements to FDA as evidence of the state of the art that supported obviousness. This decision caught my attention for its use of a study published three weeks after the priority date as evidence of the motivation and reasonable-expectation-of-success elements of obviousness.