Patenting Antibodies: Obviousness Considerations
This article analyzes obviousness issues related to antibody patents at the Patent Trials and Appeal Board (PTAB) and in federal courts. We review several cases categorized by type of claims in search of trends on what types of antibody-related claims are more likely to survive an obviousness challenge… These cases are highly fact-specific, but a few broad observations may be made. To our knowledge, no claims directed to an antibody claimed purely by structure have been challenged, except for those of an ADC (KADCYLA®), where both the antibody part and the drug part of the conjugate were previously known. An antibody broadly claimed by function may be considered obvious “[i]f any one method of achieving any single embodiment [of such claim] would have caused a person of ordinary skill in the art to anticipate success.” Abbott GMBH, 971 F. Supp.2d at 186. Objective indicia of nonobviousness have been helpful, but only where there was a clear nexus between the objective evidence and the claims.