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Author: William Reid

The Federal Circuit Addresses Personal Jurisdiction in Mylan Pharmaceuticals Case

In a case addressing specific personal jurisdiction arising from two Delaware court cases, the Federal Circuit affirmed the rulings of the lower courts, holding that the minimum–contacts requirement for specific personal jurisdiction was satisfied based on ANDA filings and a generic drug company’s plans to market its proposed drugs in a particular state. The clear implication of the decision is that specific personal jurisdiction can be found in any state where a drug will be marketed. Looking forward, any appeal to the Supreme Court will be of great interest to pharmaceutical patent litigants, as it comes following the Supreme Court’s holding in Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746 (2014), where general personal jurisdiction required that the corporation’s contacts with a state be such that it is essentially “at home” in the state.

The decision involved two separate cases from the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, both involving Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.: Acorda Therapeutics Inc. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., 2015-1456 (Fed. Cir. March 18, 2016); and Astrazeneca AB v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., 2015-1460 (Fed. Cir. March 18, 2016).

Review of 2015 Trends in Fluid Catalytic Cracking Patents, Part II: Catalysts & Zeolites

This is the second article in a review of patents issued in 2015 in the area of Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC). The previous article covered FCC additives, and can be found HERE. The summary below covers seven patents relating to FCC catalysts and zeolites. Four of the seven, U.S. Patent No.’s 8,940,652, 8,951,498, 9,126,183, and 9,192,925, relate primarily to the preparation of the zeolite. Two others, U.S. Patent No.’s 8,993,469 and 9,056,308, relate to the overall catalyst. A seventh patent, U.S. Patent 9,175,230, relates to a catalyst having a particular combination of alumina’s. Three of the patents, U.S. Patent No.’s 8,940,652, 9,056,308, and 9,175,230 also recite limitations related to phosphorous. Finally, two of the patents, U.S. Patent No.’s 8,951,498 and 9,126,183, also relate to mesoporosity. Review of the collection of patents demonstrates that a substantial amount of research activity continues to be conducted in the area of catalysts and zeolites; in particular work focused on zeolite preparation for improving stability and mesoporosity.

Lexmarks the Spot: The Federal Circuit Addresses Patent Exhaustion

On October 26, 1881, Wyatt Earp and his brothers, Morgan and Virgil, along with Doc Holliday met with Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury and Billy Claiborn, to engage in a form of conflict-resolution in a vacant lot off Fremont Street in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. Sheriff Johnny Behan’s efforts at mediation were ultimately unsuccessful, and the rest is history. The dispute between the parties had been long-standing, and it is not clear that there was a defining moment that made the final confrontation a certainty. Such cannot be said of the Federal Circuit’s holding in Lexmark International, Inc., v. Impression Products, Inc., No. 2014-1617, 2014-1619 (Federal Circuit, February 12, 2016)(en banc). In this decision, the Federal Circuit has undoubtedly set the stage for the Supreme Court to resolve issues related to Patent Exhaustion.

Review of 2015 Trends in Fluid Catalytic Cracking Patents, Part I: Catalyst Additives

This is the first article in a review of patents issued in 2015 in the area of Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC). The summary below covers five patents relating to FCC catalyst additives. These include: two related to gasoline sulfur reduction catalysts; two related to metals deactivators/traps; and a ZSM-5 additive patent. Review of this collection of patents illustrates a somewhat subdued activity in additive research activity for the FCC, at least that devoted to patentable activities. To be fair, there are almost double the number of “catalyst” related patents, and some of these are directed to olefin production, which would boost the number in the olefin/octane area. These will be summarized next month. For the sulfur reduction and metals trapping areas, time will tell whether there is a resurgence in these areas.

The Ghost of Christmas Patents

Christmas is the biggest holiday in my family. We spend a lot of time putting up decorations, but the most time of all is devoted to decorating the Christmas tree. For me personally, it’s a uniquely special time because I find myself reflecting on Christmases past with absent family I very much miss, and Christmases when my own children (13 and 17) were very young. It wakes me up to the magic of this year’s Christmas, and how wonderful it is to have loved ones close. It makes me grateful.

Recent Trends in Enhanced Oil Recovery Patents (2014), Part 2: Additives – Demulsifiers

Chemical methods of EOR recovery generally include polymer flooding, chemical flooding, liquid carbon dioxide flooding, and hydrocarbon displacement. Additives used in this area employ a variety of mechanisms, e.g., a reduction in the oil-water interfacial tension, alteration of surface wettability, and the use of high viscosity agents for mobility control. The objective is generally to increase the mobility of the oil phase relative to the water used in flooding the well to maximize oil recovery. To improve operability and performance, EOR applications sometimes use a combination of surfactant and polymer, known as “SP” formulations and alkaline, surfactant and polymer systems, known as “ASP” formulations.

Recent Trends in Enhanced Oil Recovery Patents (2014), Part I: Microbials

This is the first article in a series reviewing 2014 patents focused on Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). The initial article relates to the technology area of Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery (MEOR), which concerns the use of microbes to extract oil from oil-containing formations.

Although only five MEOR-related patents issued in 2014, patent activity generally in the EOR area was robust, with 50+ patents having issued. In the upcoming articles, these remaining patents will be similarly reviewed according to their particular subject matter. While this article covers patents in MEOR, which is a biological method of oil recovery, other recovery methods such as chemicals: polymer flooding, chemical flooding, liquid carbon dioxide flooding, and hydrocarbon displacement; physical methods: thermal recovery, steam flooding, gas drive oil; and technical methods: hydraulic fracturing, hydraulic jet drilling, etc. will be covered in upcoming articles to the extent patents in these areas have issued.

Recent Trends in Fluid Catalytic Cracking Patents, Part VI: Regenerator

This is the sixth and final article in a review of patents in the area of Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) for 2012-2013. The next article in this series will focus on FCC patents from 2014. The first five articles reviewed patents on catalyst additives, zeolites, cyclones, cracking catalysts and reactors. The current article will cover eight patents relating to FCC regenerators. Five of the eight patents relate to better mixing of the coked catalyst in the regenerator aimed at improving catalyst distribution, and permitting more even burning. These include systems to mix the coked catalyst with regenerated catalyst, systems to mix the coked catalyst with a carrier fluid, and systems to provide better mixing with combustion air. Of the three remaining patents, one relates to the use of a catalyst cooler, another relates to a fuel nozzle configuration for providing reactor heat demands for light feedstocks. The last relates to a two-step regenerator for operating at an increased level of coke on the catalyst. The accompanying reduced catalyst activity is useful for operating in a max-LCO mode.

Recent Trends in Fluid Catalytic Cracking Patents, Part V: Reactor Section

This is the fifth article in a review of recent patents in the area of Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC). The first four articles reviewed patents on catalyst additives, zeolites, cyclones, and cracking catalysts. The current article will cover seven patents relating to the FCC reactor system, which for the purposes of this article includes the riser(s), separation devices, stripper and the reactor vessel. […]

Recent Trends in Fluid Catalytic Cracking Patents, Part IV: Cracking Catalysts

This is the fourth article in a review of recent patents in the area of Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC). The first article reviewed patents on catalyst additives, and demonstrated that relatively few patents had recently issued on FCC additives (e.g., gasoline sulfur reduction catalysts), likely reflecting the current use of gas oil hydrotreaters and naphtha hydrotreaters/desulphurizers, which reduce the need for such additives. The second article reviewed patents related to zeolites, and demonstrated that trends in this area reflected an emphasis on the mesoporosity of those zeolites. The third article reviewed patents on cyclones, and showed that patenting trends in this area appear to be primarily related to improvements in performance for conventional designs, consolidation of other reactor operations (stripping) to the cyclone, or design of separation systems usable in a variety of existing regenerator designs. The current article covers recent patents relating to cracking catalysts. There are relatively few of these patents, and not enough to designate any trends as a whole, although as mentioned previously there are patenting trends in the zeolite portion of the catalyst.