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Posts Tagged: "hatch-waxman"

Federal Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Celgene’s Hatch-Waxman Suit Against Mylan, Clarifying Venue and Pleading Requirements

On November 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential decision in Celgene Corp. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. affirming a ruling of the District of Delaware, which dismissed a Hatch-Waxman lawsuit against related Mylan entities for either improper venue or failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. In issuing the decision, the Federal Circuit found that Mylan’s submission of a notice letter to Celgene regarding Mylan’s paragraph IV certification to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stating that Mylan’s generic version of the multiple myeloma treatment Pomalyst would not infringe Celgene’s patents was not itself an act of infringement for purposes of the patent venue statute.

Report: ANDA Litigation is Declining

Last week, Patexia released its second annual ANDA Litigation Intelligence Report in which we covered the rankings, statistics and comprehensive analysis of abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) and Hatch-Waxman stakeholders. We couldn’t help but notice the decline in ANDA filing activity that has begun, after reaching its peak in 2018. Year-over-year comparison of the ANDA data, as seen in the following chart, shows the trend in the last four years. We observe a considerable decline from 2018 to 2019 (a decline of 4.2 cases/month) followed by a smaller decline from 2019 to 2020 (2.7 cases/month) and the sharpest decline from 2020 to 2021 (5.3 cases/month) indicated by the data analyzed for the first half of 2021. In total, this represents a decline in ANDA case filings of about 36% from 2017 to 2021. The same trend is noticed with the number of the patents involved in these cases.

Federal Trade Commission Urges SCOTUS to Deny AbbVie Petition

On Wednesday, May 19, the response brief of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in AbbVie v. FTC. The petition for writ of certiorari filed by AbbVie asks the nation’s highest court to decide whether lower courts erred in finding that AbbVie’s Hatch-Waxman district court litigation involving patents covering its AndroGel testosterone treatment met the sham litigation exception to Noerr-Pennington doctrine. The FTC’s brief urged the Supreme Court to deny AbbVie’s petition for writ, a decision that arguably could cast into doubt pharmaceutical firms’ ability to enforce their patent rights under decades-old legislation meant to balance the economic interests of innovative drug developers with the public interests served by generic drug makers.

The PTAB Puts Hatch-Waxman Defendants on Notice: File IPRs Early or Risk Fintiv Discretionary Denial

On September 16, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) denied institution of Mylan Labs Ltd.’s petition for IPR of U.S. Patent No. 9,439,906 (“the ’906 patent”) in IPR2020-00440.  In doing so, the PTAB exercised discretion to deny institution based on the six factors set forth in its precedential order in Apple Inc. v Fintiv Inc. For Hatch-Waxman Defendants interested in challenging the validity of Orange Book-listed patents at the PTAB, IPR petitions should be filed as early as possible in order to avoid this same result.

Federal Circuit Says Teva Induced Infringement of GSK Patent on Congestive Heart Failure Drug

In GlaxoSmithKline LLC v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on Friday reversed a district court’s motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) for Teva, finding that Teva was liable for induced infringement of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK’s) patent directed to a method of treating Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) using carvedilol….. Chief Judge Prost authored a dissenting opinion, wherein she expressed the majority’s opinion undermined a critical balance between patent protection and public access once a patent expires “by allowing a drug marketed for unpatented uses to give rise to liability for inducement and by permitting an award of patent damages where causation has not been shown.”

Federal Circuit Decision Delays Generic Osteoarthritis Drug

On October 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a decision in HZNP Medicines LLC v. Actavis Laboratories UT, Inc. affirming the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey’s findings of invalidity and noninfringement of certain claims of some of the asserted HZNP (Horizon) patents, as well as the district court’s finding of nonobviousness of one claim of another Horizon patent. The finding of nonobviousness means that Actavis, owned by generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceuticals, is enjoined from engaging in the commercial use, offer for sale, or sale of its product covered in its Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) until the expiration of U.S. Patent No. 9,066,913 (the ‘913 patent) in 2027.

Bipartisan Agreement That Drug Prices Are a Problem (and Patents are Complicated) Could Mean Changes for Pharma

During a hearing of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on Tuesday titled, “Intellectual Property and the Price of Prescription Drugs: Balancing Innovation and Competition,” senators heard from five witnesses about proposals to lower drug prices for Americans and what role the patent system plays in the high cost of prescription drugs. The witnesses included two professors, a patient advocate, the Director of South Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services, and the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). The hearing is one of several so far this term on the topic. Judiciary Committee Chair, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), opened the hearing by summing up the problem they faced in a question: essentially, how do we make sure that America continues to be the most innovative place on the planet and avoid killing the “goose that laid the golden egg,” without having a system that drives up cost for the consumer? Graham said he expects the committee will move on legislation related to patents and prescription drug pricing this year, and there seemed to be broad agreement on at least one bill currently under consideration—the CREATES Act of 2019, which has been floating around Congress since 2016.

Filer of an ANDA Paragraph III Certification has Standing to Appeal from PTAB in IPR

The ‘650 patent covers a compound called fesoterodine, which is an antimuscarinic drug marketed as Toviaz® and used to treat urinary incontinence. Mylan Pharmaceuticals petitioned for IPR of the ‘650 patent alleging certain claims were obvious. After institution of the IPR, Amerigen and two other companies joined as parties to the proceeding. After the PTAB’s finding that the challenged claims were not unpatentable, Amerigen—but not Mylan—appealed the decision.

On appeal, UCB asserted Amerigen lacked standing. Specifically, UCB argued that, based on the Paragraph III certification accompanying Amerigen’s abbreviated new drug application (ANDA), the FDA will not approve Amerigen’s ANDA until the expiration of the ‘650 patent, previously upheld in a separate suit in the District of Delaware, in 2022. Consequently, UCB contends Amerigen is foreclosed from infringing the ‘650 patent, and without a possibility of infringement there can be no justiciable dispute.

The Federal Circuit rejected UCB’s argument for several reasons. First, this case did not arise under the Hatch-Waxman Act. Second, Amerigen did not rely a risk of infringement liability as a basis for injury. Rather, Amerigen pointed to a concrete commercial injury that it incurred from the listing of the ’650 patent in the Orange Book, which was only possible so long as the ’650 patent was not found invalid. Specifically, the listing of the ‘650 patent blocked the launch of Amerigen’s tentatively approved ANDA, and invalidation of the patent would advance its drug’s launch.

CAFC Overturns Preliminary Injunction on Generic Suboxone Film Over Newman Dissent

The Federal Circuit issued a nonprecedential decision in Indivior Inc. v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, S.A., which vacated a preliminary injunction handed out by the District of New Jersey in a Hatch-Waxman patent infringement case brought by British pharmaceutical firm Indivior. The Federal Circuit panel majority concluded that the district court had abused its discretion in granting the injunction. The majority found that the ‘305 patent’s specification disparaged, and therefore disclaimed, the method of drying the films with the use of conventional methods which only dry the top of the film. Judge Pauline Newman authored a dissenting opinion in which she explained she would have found the district court’s preliminary injunction grant sustained on appeal. According to Judge Newman, the majority’s decision imported the drying limitation from the ‘514 patent claims into the ‘305 patent claims despite the fact that the ‘305 patent was amended specifically to remove this limitation.

Blockbuster Restasis Patent Goes Down at Federal Circuit a Victim of Rule 36

Without any explanation, analysis or justification, Chief Judge Prost, and Judges Reyna and Hughes affirmed the decision of colleague Judge Bryson. A patent to a blockbuster drug like Restasis, which has over $1.4 billion in annual sales in the United States, deserves greater consideration than a once sentence disposition that simply says: “Affirmed.”… It is one thing to use Rule 36 to dispose of an appeal that should never have been brought relating to an invention of modest or no commercial success. But there is something fundamentally arrogant about using Rule 36 to finally strike a fatal blow to a patent covering a blockbuster drug responsible for more than $1.4 billion in annual sales in the United States. And given that the district court judge was Judge Bryson, the lack of an opinion only raises further questions.

IPR Outcomes of Orange Book Patents and its Effect on Hatch-Waxman Litigation

Out of the 230 Orange Book patents challenged in IPR proceedings, 90.4% (208) of these patents were also challenged in Hatch-Waxman litigation perhaps due to the lucrative 180-day exclusivity incentive available to the first generic manufacturer to file a paragraph IV challenge when the Orange Book drug patent is successfully invalidated in a subsequent district court proceeding. Therefore, the IPR process has provided generic manufacturers a dual track option for challenging Orange Book patents by initiating Hatch-Waxman litigation and also pursuing IPRs. Overall, because the rate of settlement in IPRs is much lower than in Hatch-Waxman litigation, both generic manufacturers and patent owners obtain more favorable final decisions in IPRs as compared to their Hatch-Waxman litigation outcomes.

Federal Circuit Reverses, Finds Opioid Addiction Treatment Patent Nonobvious

The Federal Circuit reversed the District of Delaware’s decision to invalidate Orexo’s opioid treatment patent as obvious because obviousness was not proved by clear and convincing evidence. Specifically, the Court pointed to the absence of a teaching in the prior art that citric acid could serve as a carrier particle for the drug agonist.  The Court also noted that the lower court improperly discounted evidence of objective indicia of nonobviousness.

Federal Circuit Treatment of ‘Commercial Success’ in Hatch-Waxman Cases

In order to establish that the commercial success factor supports a non-obviousness finding, the patentee must establish that a connection (or nexus) exists between the novel aspects of the patent claim(s) and the alleged commercial success. Id.; WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., 889 F.3d 1308, 1330 (Fed. Cir. 2018). In other words, the patentee must show that the novel aspects of the claim(s) are driving sales and not aspects of the claim(s) that were known in the prior art. In re Huai-Hung Kao, 639 F.3d 1057, 1069 (Fed. Cir. 2011); WesternGeco, 889 F.3d at 1330. In cases brought pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman Act, while there are exceptions, it is most common that patent challengers’ arguments focus predominantly or entirely on an alleged lack of nexus given the substantial sales typically enjoyed by the brand-name drug products that are the subject of such litigation. Though it bears noting that the mere fact that a company is pursuing a generic version of a brand-name drug, by itself, does not support a “commercial success” finding. Galderma Labs., Inc. v. Tolmar, Inc., 737 F.3d 737, 740 (Fed. Cir. 2013).

Expectation of Success – How Much is Reasonably Needed for Obviousness

How much is needed to reasonably prove obviousness? In UCB, the majority found UCB, Inc.’s asserted claim nonobvious under non-statutory double patenting.  The dissent, however, found overwhelming evidence in support of obviousness.  The majority determined that prior art teaching was insufficient for a skilled artisan to have a reasonable expectation of success.  To the dissent, however, the majority’s analysis was flawed because it ignored the fact that the law required only a reasonable expectation of success, not a guarantee.  One might say the majority viewed the glass as half full and the dissent half empty. 

Reflections on Drug Patents and the High Cost of Healthcare

The Hatch-Waxman Act and the Biologic Price Competition and Innovation Act are both forged from a noble ideal, grounded in a commitment to a robust and earnest patent system that rewards real innovation… By the power vested in them by specially-reserved patent laws, drug patents are a patent species of their own universe. They can have the economic power of nuclear warheads, in an industry built on an exclusivity model worth hundreds of billions of dollars, per year. We simply cannot afford to fill the silos of those warheads with patent waste that does not innovate or improve upon anything, but which can wreak economic and social havoc, while feeding the general public’s perception that all patents stink.