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Author: William Reid

Lack of Obviousness in Methods for Cancer Treatment

The ‘209 Patent includes method claims where folic acid and a methylmalonic acid lowering agent (e.g., vitamin B12) are administered prior to treatment with the antifolate pemetrexed disodium, a chemotherapy agent.[3]  The folic acid and methylmalonic acid are used to ameliorate the toxic effects of the pemetrexed.[4]  The heart of the Board’s conclusion was that although it was known to use folic acid to reduce the toxicity of antifolates such as pemetrexed, there was no reason to pretreat with vitamin B12 and folic acid prior to treatment with pemetrexed for cancer.[5]  On appeal, the Petitioner’s obviousness arguments related to the EP005 reference, which taught use of folic acid in conjunction with vitamin B12 to reduce homocysteine levels for all purposes.[6]  Homocysteine is an amino acid, and when present in high levels is predictive of pemetrexed toxicity.[7]  On its face this appears to be a solid case for obviousness.  Indeed, those arguing against motivation to combine during patent prosecution have almost certainly encountered an Examiner’s response referencing MPEP 2144IV at one time or the other:

Déjà vu at the Federal Circuit: Personal Web Technologies, LLC, v. Apple, Inc.

There is a scene in the Big Lebowski where the Dude complains about the lousy day he just had as he tosses down some snacks at a bowling alley bar.  In answer, the Stranger (played by Sam Elliot) offers the above advice as to the Dude’s existential situation.  It didn’t help.  One can almost imagine a similar response from Apple following the Federal Circuit’s decision in Personal Web Technologies, LLC, v. Apple, Inc., 2018-1599 (Fed. Cir. March 8, 2019), since it marked the second time in two years they had won at the Board, only to be disappointed at the Federal Circuit on the same patent, PWT’s 7,802,310 (‘310 Patent)[1].  While the Federal Circuit’s analysis in both cases was nominally different, the underlying theme in both was the need for a proper motivation-to-combine analysis.

Lead Compound Analysis in Mylan v. RCT

Lead compound analysis (LCA) has been used in the evaluation of chemical compound Obviousness for the past 20 years.[1]  This approach supplemented the historic formulation of In re Dillon.[2]  While the Dillon analysis pivots about the structural similarity of the cited compound to that claimed and any motivation to make the claimed compound, LCA involves selection of a lead compound that is the most promising candidate for modification to improve its activity.  As such, it represents a somewhat more difficult standard than in Dillon.

Determining Trademark Confusion with DuPont Factors

Forty years ago, people were dancing to Stayin Alive by the Bee Gee’s, munching on Reese’s Pieces for the first time, and watching John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John in Grease, and Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween (the first one!).  A lucky few were playing Space Invaders on their Atari 2600, or DOS-based games on their Apple II computer; and the iPhone was not yet a glint in Steve Jobs’ eye.  Coincidentally, forty years ago the mark “GUILD INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT” (GIM) was being used by Guild Investment Management, Inc. for investment advisory services while the mark “GUILD MORTGAGE COMPANY” (GMC), owned by Guild Mortgage Company (Guild), was being used for mortgage banking services.[2]  Nevertheless, decades later an application for the GMC mark in International Class 36 was refused by the Examiner, who argued that there was a likelihood of confusion with the GIM mark because “the marks, nature of the services and trade channels were similar.”[3]  The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board agreed, despite finding that “consumers ‘may exercise a certain degree of care in investing money, if not perhaps in seeking a mortgage loan.’”[4]  Guild appealed to the Federal Circuit.

Obviousness, Prodrugs and the Rule of 5: Amerigen Pharmaceuticals Limited v. UCB Pharma GmbH

In Amerigen Pharmaceuticals Limited v. UCB Pharma GMBH, 2017-2596 (Fed. Cir. January 11, 2019), the Federal Circuit upheld the Board’s IPR finding that claims 1-5 and 21-24 of UCB’s U.S. Patent 6,868,650 were not obvious.[1]  The patent claims cover Toviaz® (Fesoterodine), an antimuscarinic drug to treat urinary incontinence.[2]  Judge Lourie included a remark […]

Assignor Estoppel & Inter-Partes Review: Arista Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc.

Arista Networks, Inc. (Arista) petitioned for an IPR of Cisco Systems, Inc.’s (“Cisco”) patent, U.S. 7,340,597, relating to protecting computer network systems from outside attack using a logging module.[1] Claims 1 and 29 are as follows: 1.An apparatus comprising: a communications device comprising: a subsystem; and a logging module, coupled to […]

Stone Basket Innovations v. Cook Medical LLC : When Is a Case “Exceptional” for the Purposes of §285?

Stone Basket Innovations (SBI) sued Cook Medical LLC (Cook) for infringement of its patent, U.S. Patent No. 6,551,327 (‘327 Patent) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.[1]  Subsequently, the case was transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (Southern District).[2]  The […]

Fluid Catalytic Cracking Patents – 2017, Part I: Catalytic Compositions/Synthesis

This is the first article in a review of patents issued in 2017 in the area of Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC).  The summary below covers six patents related to fluid cracking catalyst compositions/synthesis. One technique for categorizing patents related to Fluid Catalytic Cracking is to group them in certain categories:  […]