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Practical Perspectives on Intellectual Property Legal Developments

Category Archives: Pharmaceuticals

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It Ain’t that Obvious to Try

Posted in Patent, Pharmaceuticals
In Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH v. Glenmark Pharms Inc., the Federal Circuit followed previous precedent in holding that the combination of compounds is not “obvious to try” if unexpected properties are supported by evidence. The patent-at-issue was directed to an antihypertension drug, Tarka®, which is the combination of an angiotension-converting enzyme inhibitor (such as trandolapril or quinapril, both double-ring compounds) and a calcium channel blocker. The jury found that the patent had not been proven invalid and defendant, on appeal, argued that “if a combination of classes of components is already known, all selections within such classes are obvious to try . . . .” The Federal Circuit found that there was substantial evidence supporting the jury’s verdict that obviousness had not been proved by clear and convincing evidence because of the unpredicted “longer-lasting effectiveness” achieved with the drug… Continue Reading

Takeda Part Two: Destroy Evidence, Pay the Price — Eli Lilly and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Get Hit For $9 Billion Punitive Damages Verdict

Posted in Pharmaceuticals
Recently, in In re Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 11-2299, a Louisiana federal jury awarded $9 billion in punitive damages against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. (“Takeda”) and Eli Lilly & Co. (“Lilly”). The verdict was delivered on the heels of Judge Rebecca Doherty’s January opinion, which lambasted Takeda for failing to (1) enforce its own litigation hold and (2) follow its document retention procedures, which led to the destruction of relevant evidence that Judge Doherty found would have likely been beneficial for the plaintiffs’ case… Continue Reading

Takeda Part One: Prelude To Disaster? — Takeda Can’t Narrow Its Broadly-Written Litigation Hold

Posted in Pharmaceuticals
An opinion from Judge Rebecca Doherty in In re Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 11-2299, provides valuable lessons on the consequences of drafting overly-broad litigation hold notices, as well as the importance of providing evidence from knowledgeable witnesses in defense of document retention procedures… Continue Reading

Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., Inc. v. Bartlett

Posted in Pharmaceuticals
The generic pharmaceutical industry faced a Catch-22 when a serious adverse reaction arose from use of a generic drug product, and the manufacturer was restrained from unilaterally amending the product label to conform to state requirements, due to the Supreme Court's decision in PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, 131 S.Ct. 2567 (2011). PLIVA held that state requirements to change a label are pre-empted by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act's prohibition of changing labeling without authorization by the … Continue Reading

Counterfeit Drugs – The Challenges of a Deadly Global Epidemic

Posted in Pharmaceuticals
For years, the average person who heard the phrase "knock offs" would immediately think of counterfeit versions of brand name luxury goods. While counterfeiters continue to target those types of goods, they are by no means the most nefarious or sophisticated category of counterfeiters. Counterfeiters have effectively targeted almost every type of consumer product imaginable, including the drugs and medical diagnostic devices that consumers rely on for their health and safety… Continue Reading

Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology Files Amicus Brief in “Pay-for-Delay” Case Before Supreme Court

Posted in Pharmaceuticals
We previously reported on the battle over so-called "pay-for-delay" settlements, which puts the pharmaceutical industry versus the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") before the Supreme Court, to decide the legality of reverse payments in Hatch-Waxman cases. The case is FTC v. Actavis, Inc., et al… Continue Reading

Proposed Bill Seeks to Answer the Pay for Delay Debate

Posted in Pharmaceuticals
As the so-called pay for-delay case is ripening for Supreme Court oral argument on March 25, 2013, on Tuesday a bi-partisan group of senators introduced legislation meant to strongly deter such arrangements. The introduction of the bill, known as the "Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act," follows an annual FTC report disclosing 40 potential pay-for-delay deals struck in the 2012 fiscal year -- a jump from 28 such deals in 2011. The goal of the bill is "to prohibit brand name drug companies from compensating generic drug companies to delay the entry of a generic drug into the market." Such reverse payments (payments made by branded pharmaceutical patent holders to generic challengers to postpone market entry) are considered lawful by some, and anti-competitive by others, including the … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Will Not Review Lead Compound Test for Obviousness Analysis

Posted in Pharmaceuticals
On Monday, the Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of certiorari filed by Apotex seeking review of the Federal Circuit's May 7, 2012, ruling that affirmed the District Court of New Jersey's judgment that Otsuka's patents covering its blockbuster drug Abilify© are valid and not obvious… Continue Reading

PhRMA Opposes FTC’s Proposed Rules for Reporting Certain Pharmaceutical Licensing Transactions

Posted in Pharmaceuticals
We recently reported that during the August doldrums the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed for comment amendments to the Hart-Scott-Rodino rules that would require reporting of licensing agreements under which a patent holder grants an "exclusive" license, but retains the limited right to manufacture solely for the recipient of the patent rights, or a right to assist in developing and commercializing the product covered by the patent ("co-rights") and the value of the license exceeds the HSR minimum (currently $68.2 million)… Continue Reading

Reckitt Benckiser v. Tris Pharma — New Jersey Magistrate Finds No Trade Secret Misappropriation

Posted in Pharmaceuticals
In a recent "not for publication" Memorandum Opinion and Order relating to Reckitt Benckiser's ("RB") over-the-counter cough syrup, Delsym® (dextromethorphan polistirex), United States Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert of the District of New Jersey found that RB failed to establish trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, and tortious interference with business expectations claimed against Tris Pharma, following a four-day bench trial… Continue Reading

FTC Proposes Rules to Codify Reporting of Exclusive Patent Right Transfers in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Posted in Patent, Pharmaceuticals
Is the sale or assignment of a patent reportable? The Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 ("HSR") and related rules require that all acquisitions of voting securities or assets exceeding a threshold amount be reported to the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC"), as well as the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. The current threshold is $68.2 million… Continue Reading

Save the Date: Rutgers Pharmaceutical Management Program, July 19-20, 2012

Posted in Pharmaceuticals
Gibbons P.C. is again proud to announce a two-day program for Pharmaceutical Management at the Rutgers University Blanche and Irwin Lerner Center for Pharmaceutical Studies in Newark, NJ. The program, which is open to the public, includes in-depth presentations relating to topics including intellectual property, regulatory, financial and marketing issues relating to the pharmaceutical industry, as well as drug development and the role of biotechnology in pharmaceutical development… Continue Reading

Astra v. Apotex: CAFC Affirms Non-infringement of Method of Use Claims

Posted in Pharmaceuticals
In AstraZeneca Pharms. LP. v. Apotex Corp., the Federal Circuit ruled that an Abbreviated New Drug Application ("ANDA"), filed under § 355(j)(2)(B)(ii) and limited to FDA approved, but unpatented uses of a medication, is not an act of infringement of Orange Book-listed patents covering approved but different uses of the same medication. The Court did find that Plaintiff's allegation that its listed patents are infringed was sufficient to establish subject matter jurisdiction over the generic Defendants… Continue Reading

IP Law 2012: A Look Ahead . . . .

Posted in Patent, Pharmaceuticals, Trademark, USPTO
Coming off a year that included the Smith-Leahy "America Invents Act," 2012 portends to have some significant developments in IP law. Decisions for IP practitioners and industry to watch for include: the Supreme Court's decision in Caraco Pharm. Labs. Ltd. v. Novo Nordisk A/S, regarding "use codes" and section viii carve-outs under the Hatch-Waxman Act; the Supreme Court's decision in Mayo v. Prometheus, regarding patentable subject matter, post-Bilski; and the Federal Circuit's upcoming en banc decisions in McKesson and Akamai, regarding joint infringement liability… Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Vacates Grant of Preliminary Injunction on Procedural Grounds

Posted in Patent, Pharmaceuticals
Last week in Warner Chilcott Labs Ireland Ltd. v. Mylan Pharms., the Federal Circuit vacated a grant of preliminary injunction in a Hatch-Waxman case by the District Court of New Jersey. The Federal Circuit acted after the lower court granted a preliminary injunction without either holding an evidentiary hearing or making any findings as to the defendants' invalidity defense… Continue Reading

The Hatch Waxman Act and Induced Infringement

Posted in Patent, Pharmaceuticals
Oral argument was recently heard before the Federal Circuit in the appeal of AstraZeneca Pharms. LP. v. Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. AstraZeneca, along with IPR Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and The Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc., ("Plaintiffs) sued ten generic drug companies alleging infringement of US Patent Nos. 6,858,618 ("the '618 patent") and 7,030,152 ("the '152 patent") under the Hatch-Waxman Act. These patents claim methods of treatment using rosuvastatin calcium, which Plaintiffs market as Crestor®… Continue Reading

A Recent Clarification on Intervening Rights by the Federal Circuit

Posted in Biotech, Patent, Pharmaceuticals
The Federal Circuit recently found that intervening rights can apply to a claim that has been narrowed by argument only during a reexamination. In Marine Polymer Technologies, Inc. v. HemCon, the Federal Circuit recently found that narrowing a claim by argument only changes the substantive scope of the claim for purposes of intervening rights. Specifically, a claim term that is changed during reexamination without changing a word in the claim can still substantively narrow the scope of a claim. Therefore, upon reissue of the patent, an infringer would have "... absolute intervening rights with respect to products manufactured before the date of reissue."… Continue Reading

Patent Reform Act of 2011 on the Horizon

Posted in Biotech, Patent, Pharmaceuticals, USPTO
On Tuesday, September 6, 2011, the Senate invoked cloture on H.R. 1249, also known as the America Invents Act, making it almost a done deal for passage of this Act. One reason that this bill has succeeded over its predecessors is that, with one major exception, there is little difference between the House and Senate versions. The passage of H.R. 1249 will mark the culmination of a 6-year process to pass patent reform legislation that started with H.R. … Continue Reading
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