Tag Archives: Obviousness

Error in Claim Construction Leads to Reversal of IPR Decision and Cancelation of Claims

Two recent Federal Circuit decisions illustrate how an error in construing claims may lead the court to reverse a PTAB final written decision. In Organik Kimya AS v. Rohm & Haas Co., the Federal Circuit determined that the PTAB correctly construed the disputed claim term, “swelling agent,” and therefore affirmed the PTAB’s decisions upholding the … Continue Reading

Assertion of “Routine Optimization” Without Additional Reasoning Insufficient to Support Obviousness Conclusion

Recent Federal Circuit decisions reversing or remanding PTAB holdings of obviousness have faulted the Board for failing to clearly articulate its reasoning.  See our previous posts here and here.  In In re Stepan Co., No. 2016-1811 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 25, 2017), a split CAFC panel vacated a PTAB ex parte appeal decision affirming an obviousness … Continue Reading

Petitioner Made Rebuttal Argument in Reply, Not an Improper New Argument

PTAB rules prohibit raising new arguments in a reply brief, but it can be difficult to distinguish between an improper reply argument and a proper rebuttal. In Idemitsu Kosan Co. v. SFC Co., No. 2016-2721 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 15, 2017), the Federal Circuit determined that the IPR petitioner properly made a rebuttal argument—not a belated, … Continue Reading

Secondary Considerations Again Fail to Shore Up Patent Estate

In IPR 2016-00036, a Bosch windshield wiper patent succumbed to Costco’s challenge on grounds of obviousness.   In its final written decision, the Board held claims 13, 17, and 18 of U.S. Patent No. 6,944,905 obvious.  IPR 2016-00039, discussed here, is another Board decision holding obvious several claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,228,588, another member of … Continue Reading

Eli Lilly Successfully Challenges U Penn Erbitux® Claims at PTAB, Derailing Infringement Suit

The PTAB recently canceled the University of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Patent No. 7,625,558, a potentially fatal blow to the University’s suit against Eli Lilly and Company alleging its cancer therapeutic Erbitux® (centuximab) infringes the patent.  Eli Lilly and Co. v. Trustees of the Univ. of Penn., Case IPR2016-00458 (July 13, 2017). The PTAB’s decision resolved testimony … Continue Reading

Statement of Agreement or Disagreement with Attorney Argument Alone Does Not Provide Substantial Evidence To Support PTAB Findings

In Google Inc. v. Intellectual Ventures II LLC, Appeal 2016-1543, 2016-1545 (Fed. Cir. July 10, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s final written decision canceling some claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,121,960, but vacated the portion of the decision that refused to cancel other claims.  With respect to the upheld claims, the court remanded … Continue Reading

PTAB’s Conclusion of Obviousness Overturned as Lacking Sufficient Justification

In In re Schweickert, No. 2016-1266 (Fed. Cir. 2017), the Federal Circuit in a non-precedential opinion vacated the PTAB’s decision canceling patent claims in an ex parte reexamination as being obvious over prior art. The Federal Circuit determined that the PTAB’s conclusion of obviousness was based on no more than a broadly-stated assertion that the … Continue Reading

Kyle Bass Gets Fresenius’ Diprivan Claims Canceled in IPR

On June 7, 2017, the PTAB issued a final written decision in IPR 2016-00254 canceling claims in a Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC (Fresenius) patent covering Diprivan®. The PTAB instituted the IPR in response to a petition filed by hedge fund manager Kyle Bass and his colleague Erich Spangenberg. Diprivan® is the commercial name for propofol, … Continue Reading

Uncorroborated Declaration Not Sufficient to Avoid § 102(e) Prior Art

In EmeraChem Holdings, LLC v. Volkswagen Group of American, Inc. (Fed. Cir. June 15, 2017), the Federal Circuit determined that the Patent Owner’s uncorroborated declaration was insufficient to show that asserted prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. § 102(e) represented the work of the same inventive entity as the challenged claims, and with respect to certain … Continue Reading

Different Invalidity Conclusions by PTAB and Federal Courts Prohibited in Inter Partes Reexamination But Permissible in IPR

In Fairchild (Taiwan) Corp. v. Power Integrations, Inc., Appeal 2017-1002 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 21, 2017), the Federal Circuit determined that no inter partes reexamination proceeding can be brought or maintained on issues that a party raised or could have raised in a since-concluded civil action. Specifically, once the court issues a final judgment in the civil … Continue Reading

Claim Construction Sends Duke’s Patent Back to PTAB for Reconsideration, In Part

In a recent appeal from a PTAB final written decision, the Federal Circuit reversed the Board’s determination that all claims of a Duke patent were unpatentable (Duke Univ. v. BioMarin Pharm. Inc., Appeal No. 2016-1106 (Fed. Cir., April 25, 2017). The court concluded that certain of the Board’s claim constructions were incorrect, and that others, while appropriate, … Continue Reading

Owner of Hot-Work Steel Processing Patent Burned by Its Own IPR Evidence

In Rovalma, S. A. Böhler-Edelstahl GmbH & Co., No. 2016-2233 (Fed. Cir. May 11, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated the PTAB’s final written decision and remanded the case for the PTAB to provide a further explanation for its determination that the challenged claims were obvious. According to the court, the PTAB’s decision lacked sufficient detail … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Signals that PTAB Correctly Construed Most Signal Terms but Misconstrued one Other

In Wasica Finance GmbH v. Continental Automotive Sys., Inc., (Fed. Cir. Apr. 4, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed-in-part and reversed-in-part two PTAB final written decisions cancelling some but not all challenged claims  of U.S. Patent No. 5,602,524 (“the ‘524 patent”). The PTAB and court decisions are interesting because together they highlight the consequence of not … Continue Reading

Failing to Articulate Desired Claim Construction Before PTAB May Lead to Waiver

In the latest development in the ongoing patent battle between Google and SimpleAir Inc., a Federal Circuit panel agreed with SimpleAir that Google waived a claim construction it asserted on appeal because Google had failed to argue that construction before the PTAB. SimpleAir originally asserted a series of patents against Google, including U.S. Patent No. … Continue Reading

Presentation Not Qualified as a Printed Publication Because Audience Lacked Expertise

In a recent final written decision (Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania v. Coalition for Affordable Drugs VIII, LLC, IPR2015-01835, Paper No. 56 (PTAB Mar. 6, 2017)), the Board determined that the Coalition for Affordable Drugs (“Petitioner”) failed to demonstrate that claims 1-10 of U.S. Patent No. 8,618,135 (“the ’135 patent) were obvious. The claims … Continue Reading

PTAB Grants Hospira Petition to Institute IPR of Genentech Antibody Purification Patent

IPRs are an attractive option for biosimilar applicants to clear the patent landscape before delving into litigation under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA), which is still in its infancy.  Roche’s Herceptin® (trastuzumab) is a prime target for biosimilar makers, accounting for sales of over $6.5 billion in 2015.  Mylan, Celltrion, … Continue Reading

Evidence of Secondary Considerations Fails to Establish Nexus to Challenged Claims

In IPR 2016-00039, Costco challenged claims 1, 12 and 14 of USPN 7,228,588 owned by Bosch and drawn to beam (non-yoked) windshield wipers with spoilers to keep the wipers in contact with the windshield in high winds.  Petitioner combined one reference with each of two other references in support of obviousness challenges to the claims. … Continue Reading

Teaching Away for Dummies

In Meiresonne v. Google, Inc., No. 2016-1755 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 7, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s final written decision in IPR2014-01188 that the challenged claims in U.S. Patent No. 8,156,096 (the “’096 patent”) are unpatentable as obvious over the 1997 book “World Wide Web Searching for Dummies, 2nd Edition” by Brad Hill (“Hill”) and … Continue Reading

Joinder Does Not Prevent Application of IPR Estoppel Provision

A little more than a month after the Delaware district court narrowly interpreted the IPR estoppel provision to suggest that it may not be necessary to include all known grounds so as to avoid estoppel in district court litigation, the same court issued a decision suggesting that the IPR estoppel provision may not be so … Continue Reading

Secondary Considerations of Non-obviousness Retain Some Vigor

IPR 2015-01651 involved a dispute over the obviousness of claims in U.S. Patent No. 8,551,271 owned by Crown Packaging Technology, Inc. and drawn to a grooved crown bottle cap with thinner, harder steel than used in conventional caps.  World Bottling Cap, LLC, petitioned the Board to cancel the ’271 patent claims as being obvious based … Continue Reading

Coalition for Affordable Drugs Fails to Knock Out Biogen’s Tecfidera® Patent

On March 21, 2017, the PTAB refused to cancel claims of a Biogen MA Inc. (Biogen) patent covering multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera® during IPR2015-01993, which was instituted in response to a petition filed by the Coalition for Affordable Drugs V LLC (CFAD), a group started by hedge fund manager Kyle Bass. Biogen’s U.S. Pat. No. … Continue Reading

Another VIMOVO® Patent Survives Challenge by Coalition for Affordable Drugs – Updating the CFAD Scorecard

In the spirit of “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” the Coalition for Affordable Drugs (CFAD) challenged a fourth Orange Book-listed patent relating to VIVOMO®, Horizon Pharma’s naproxen/ esomeprazole product.  While denying CFAD’s previous three petitions, the PTAB instituted inter partes review for U.S. Patent No. 8,945,621.  Despite CFAD’s success at the … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Finds Portion of Board’s Obviousness Decision Supported by Substantial Evidence Despite Reduced Effectiveness of Combined Prior Art References

In Slot Speaker Techs., Inc. v. Apple Inc., Nos. 2015-2038, 2015-2039 (Fed. Cir. February 17, 2017) (non-prec.), the Federal Circuit affirmed a portion of the PTAB’s decision in an IPR that concluded claims 1 and 2 of U.S. Patent No. 7,433,483 would have been obvious over a combination of two prior art references, but reversed … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Affirms Cancellation of Claims Based on Analogous Art

In Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s IPR decision that the challenged claims are invalid as obvious and dismissed the PTAB’s CBM review as moot. Petitioner Google filed IPR and CBM petitions challenging claims 1-6 of U.S. Patent No. 7,024,205 (“the  ’205 patent”) owned by Unwired Planet, LLC.  The … Continue Reading
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