The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) issued a final written decision in an inter partes review determining Claims 1-5 of U.S. Patent No. 8,889,135 owned by Abbvie Biotechnology Ltd. unpatentable as obvious. Those claims cover methods of treating rheumatoid arthritis by administering—once every 13-15 days (i.e., biweekly) for a time period sufficient to treat the rheumatoid arthritis—40 mg of an antibody having certain sequences. The antibody D2E7, the active ingredient in Humira, is an antibody used in such a dosing regimen. The Board concluded that the challenged claims would have been obvious in light of two prior art references – van de Putte 2000 and Rau 2000 – which each described the results of clinical trials using D2E7.
In a consolidated Hatch-Waxman patent infringement action, a district court judge in Delaware recently found claims directed to a treatment for multiple sclerosis invalid as obvious.
In a final written decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) found that claims 1-20 of U.S. Patent No. 8,550,271 (the “’271 patent”) were not unpatentable because “compelling evidence of secondary considerations of non-obviousness” outweighed the evidence of obviousness. World Bottling Cap LLC (“Petitioner”) filed inter partes review petitions of Crown Packaging Technology Inc.’s (“Patent Owner”) ’271 patent, which covers a bottle cap requiring less material than caps in the prior art by using a harder steel that allows for a thinner cap.
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) found all of the claims of the patent-at-issue invalid, notwithstanding the patent owner’s (Owner) showing of secondary considerations of nonobviousness. As an initial matter, PTAB found each limitation of the claims in the prior art. Owner then attempted to rebut Petitioner’s prima facie obviousness case by presenting evidence of secondary considerations of nonobviousness based on: (1) copying, (2) commercial success, and (3) industrial praise. PTAB addressed each argument, holding overall that Petitioner’s “strong evidence of obviousness” outweighed Owner’s secondary considerations of nonobviousness.
First, Owner alleged copying based on Petitioner possessing Owner’s patented product and on unsuccessful license negotiations with Petitioner. In response, PTAB found that Petitioner’s product (for which Petitioner received its own patent) used a different configuration than Owner’s patented product. Further, PTAB found that Petitioner could not have had access to Owner’s “patent product” for the purpose of copying because Petitioner’s allegedly copied product was sold before the Owner’s patent issued.
In a January 27, 2016 decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) denied institution of Inter Partes Review (IPR) of a patent under 35 U.S.C. § 103(a). Petitioner Allsteel Inc. sought review of U.S. Patent No. 8,024,091, which relates to a wall system that includes modules connected through a removable connecting strip. The asserted independent claim requires a connecting strip with a pair of spaced apart arms, each having a beaded portion. Further, the claim requires the beaded portions to have flanges fitting inside the arms of the connecting strip. The prior art, however, disclosed beaded portions with members fitting outside the arms. Petitioner contended that a skilled artisan would have found it obvious to reverse the positions of the members to fit inside the arms. Petitioner also relied on the testimony of its expert to show that it would have been obvious to reverse some inwardly projecting members so that the beaded portions would fit inside the arms.