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Can Sentaor Rubio really block Huawei from pursuing patent infringement against Verizon?

It’s rare that patents make the mainstream news, and even more rare that one company’s allegation of patent infringement touches—even remotely—on issues of national security.  Yet, that appears to be happening with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s proposed legislation to block Huawei from seeking relief for infringement of its granted U.S. patents.  There isn’t really much precedent for legislating that a certain set of patents are unenforceable.  Can this really happen?

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Comcast can't take six shots against a Rovi patent in PTAB...

Yes, the PTAB declined to institute 5 out of 6 of Comcast’s IPRs. At the same time, the PTAB did not say there was anything per se wrong with Comcast’s multiple attacks on a single patent, even as it paid lip service to the “potential for abuse of the review process” by filing multiple petitions. For Comcast, therefore, there is not much downside to the PTAB’s decision, especially since the ‘363 patent has already been deemed likely invalid. For Rovi - and other patent owners for that matter - there is little solace in the PTAB determining that 6 IPRs against a single patent is overkill in this particular case. For them, even one IPR can be deadly to their property rights…

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Markman Advisors
What are the lessons from Boehringer’s settlement with AbbVie over its Humira biosimilar?

And just like that, it’s over.  Boehringer Ingelheim has thrown in the towel in its patent fight with AbbVie over Boehringer’s proposed biosimliar for Humira®.  Boehringer was a lone hold-out among a long line of proposed biosimilars for AbbVie’s blockbuster.  Boehringer’s distinction was that it had raised a unique defense, namely, arguing that AbbVie had built an unfair “patent thicket” around Humira® that was unenforceable.  We previously blogged about Boehringer’s “unclean hands” defense here and here and here.  Now that Boehringer has settled, what are the larger lessons for future biosimilar patent fights?

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Another reason drug prices are too high: drug companies can patent an FDA mandate.

High drug prices remain in the news.  A recent precedential decision from the Federal Circuit shows that certain drug prices will stay high if drug companies can simply take a mandate from the FDA, which was not their idea, and file a patent on it, thereby cornering the market on all IP around that mandate.  The case is Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Actavis, LLC, Case No. 2018-1054 (Fed. Cir. May 3, 2019).

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The Valueless Method Patent in Hologic v. Minerva...

Senior Judge Joseph F. Bataillon of the District of Delaware issued a comprehensive ruling on the various post-trial motions filed by the parties. As his decision notes, during the pendency of the post-trial motions the Federal Circuit decided to affirm an earlier IPR decision cancelling claims (including the asserted claims) from the ‘183 Patent. Which therefore tasked the Court with deciding whether the invalidation of one of the two patents underlying the jury verdict would impact on the damages award.

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Markman Advisors
Will Amgen win another injunction against Regeneron’s Praluent?

Amgen ($AMGN) is about to square off once again against Regeneron ($REGN) and Sanofi over whether Praluent® should be pulled from the market.  Having prevailed at another jury trial earlier this year showing that Amgen’s PCSK9 protein patents are both valid and infringed, Amgen has renewed its bid for a court order enjoining Praluent® from the market.  The injunction hearing is scheduled for June 2019.  Over two years ago, Amgen prevailed after an earlier injunction hearing where the court ordered Praluent® to be barred from the market.  Will Amgen be able to prevail again? 

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What happens when a district court and the PTAB disagree over the validity of a patent?

In a recent district court decision from the District of Delaware, the court granted a preliminary injunction, and ordered the defendant to pull the accused products, even though, a few months earlier, a Final Written Decision by the PTAB in an inter partes review proceeding held all asserted claims of the patent-in-suit unpatentable.  What was the court’s reasoning?  And what are the implications?

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Will patents save the unicorns? No, they won’t.

This is the year of the unicorns.  Or maybe just the year of unicorns going public.  Firms including Lyft, Uber, AirBnB, WeWork and Pinterest either have, will or are contemplating going public.  Last week, The Economist published an interesting briefing on unicorns.  The primary thesis is that they are overvalued.  At heart, their users are not faithful, and barriers to entry won’t stop competitors from encroaching on their base.  Yet, for all the reasons unicorns try to downplay this concern, there’s no mention of patents and IP as a line of defense.  Why not?

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Federal Circuit clarifies patent-eligibility for diagnostic method patents: Endo v. Teva and Natural Alternatives v. Creative Compounds.

The Federal Circuit has recently issued two precedential decisions that clarify when method-of-use and diagnostic patents are directed to eligible subject matter rather than natural laws.  Some clear guidelines are solidifying that should make enforcement of these principally pharmaceutical-type patents easier to handicap.

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Are polymorph patents necessarily obvious? A recent CAFC decision may read-through to Revlimid’s polymorph patents.

The Federal Circuit has issued a precedential decision addressing whether a patent covering a given polymorph was invalid as obvious, Grunenthal GmbH v. Alkem Laboratories Ltd.  Though the Court explained that it was not establishing a categorical rule that polymorph patents can never be obvious, the case nonetheless provides important guidelines for when a polymorph patents are likely to be invalid.  For those following Revlimid®’s patent cases, the immediate question is—does the Grunenthal case have read-through to Celgene’s polymorph patents? 

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The lesson from Theranos is that investors do not know how to read a patent.

Theranos’ patents may have assured investors that the company was a good bet, but that does not mean those patents were a failure of the patent system.  Rather, the patents illustrate a deficiency of IP literacy.  Investors—and recent commentators still—have taken the patents to mean something they are not.  Indeed, the patents—and the file histories behind them—have been public for years. Those patents and file histories revealed many red flags that were apparently ignored. 

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Is Novartis’ S1P modulator titration patent a “roadblock” to Celgene’s ozanimod?

While Bristol Myers ($BMY) proposed acquisition of Celgene’s ($CELG) remains in question by activists questioning Revlimid®’s pending patent cliff, a new patent angle emerges.  A Credit Suisse analyst recently identified a patent owned by Novartis ($NVS) that could purportedly act as a “roadblock” to Celgene’s MS drug ozanimod.  Is this true?

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Does the Lotus IPR matter to Celgene’s Revlimid or the Bristol transaction?

We previously blogged about Dr. Reddy’s IPRs filed against MDS patents covering Celgene’s Revlimid®.  Those IPRs attracted considerable attention because they were, for better or worse, one of the few data-points within the Revlimid® patent skirmishes we are guaranteed to see before the Bristol transaction closes.  The Lotus IPR attacking one of Celgene’s multiple myeloma patent is another datapoint.  The PTAB’s decision on whether to institute the IPR is due March 18.  How much does Lotus IPR really matter?

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Does UC’s new CRISPR-Cas9 patent really cover eukaryotes?

In the latest episode in the long-running CRISPR-Cas9 patent battle between the University of California and Broad, UC has obtained a new patent related CRISPR-Cas9.  UC has touted this patent, as well as another expected to issue shortly, as “useful to locate and edit genes in any setting, including within plant, animal, and human cells.”  So, did UC just win patents covering CRISPR-Cas9 in eukaryotes?  How does this square with the patent interference that UC recently lost at the Federal Circuit on this very issue?

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Is Corcept’s new Korlym lawsuit a game-changer against Teva?

Corcept Therapeutics ($CORT) recently filed a new lawsuit against Teva ($TEVA) related to Teva’s proposed generic for Korlym®.  The new suit asserts three new patents that were recently listed in the Orange Book.  Are the three new patents a game-changer?

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Does Uniqure or Spark Therapeutics own the key patents covering FIX-Padua for hemophilia B?

Uniqure ($QURE) and Spark Therapeutics ($ONCE) are squaring off over who will soon provide the best haemophilia B gene therapy.  Meanwhile, the companies have acknowledged that intellectual property issues may be critical to which drug will come out on top.  Will the patent issues cloud either drug’s commercial performance?

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Why does Qualcomm's Pre-Trial Motion Win Against Apple Matter?

This ruling will therefore frustrate Apple’s efforts to put Qualcomm’s general licensing practices on trial, leaving the jury to focus on the particulars of Qualcomm’s demands of Apple. For its part, Qualcomm and its investors will be pleased that the company will not have to fight a distracting rearguard action in defense of its licensing history before the jury. The decision may be a short one, but the impact on each side’s trial presentation is significant.

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Markman Advisors
What to make of Dr. Reddy’s IPR losses for Celgene’s Revlimid patent cases?

Last week, we wrote about milestones to watch for in Celgene’s ($CELG) Revlimid® patent landscape in 2019 that could potentially impact the Bristol Myers ($BMY) transaction.  One data-point that investors were anticipating were institution decisions in three petitions for inter partes review (IPRs) filed by Dr. Reddy’s.  This week, the PTAB denied institution of all three IPRs.  How will those decisions read-through to the overall Revlimid® patent landscape?

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