The Supreme Court has declined to hear three cases that questioned the inter partes review (IPR) process for patent litigation, although the petition for cert for the Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew Inc.; Arthrocare Corp.; and the United States of America case is still pending. Should the Supreme Court pass on Arthrex, the remaining affected IPR cases will have to be relitigated at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which may give those patent holders another chance to restore their patents.
The patent lawsuit between Merck & Co. and Microspherix LLC began when the latter sued Merck for infringement of patents for brachytherapy in Merck’s implantable contraceptive device, but Merck was unable to prevail in an inter partes review (IRP) or in an appeal of the IPR at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. After wading through questions about purported prior art, Merck failed to persuade the two courts that Microspherix’s non-provisional filing had strayed too far from the written description of the related provisional, thus handing Microspherix a win against its much larger rival in the market for drug delivery with microspheres.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has posted a notice of proposed rulemaking in response to a case decided by the Supreme Court in 2018, SAS v. Iancu, and the first item on the PTO agenda is to formally require that an inter partes review (IPR) consist of an exhaustive review of all the claims contested by the petitioner.
With little more than a month to go before a trial begins in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) against several opioid manufacturers, privately owned Purdue Pharma LP is continuing its efforts to settle with all the plaintiffs involved.
In the largest U.S. opioid-related settlement yet, Reckitt Benckiser Group plc agreed to pay a total of $1.4 billion to end federal civil and criminal investigations into its role in delaying generic competition to Suboxone, an opioid-addiction treatment drug.
Patent holders are wasting their resources when they ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for an en banc rehearing on diagnostic claims that have been declared ineligible because they cite a law of nature.