Federal Circuit Issues Decision Affirming Obviousness of a Molecule Patent Claim

On June 12, 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion affirming the obviousness of a patent claim directed to a drug molecule. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Teva Pharms. USA, Inc., ___ F.3d ___ (2014). This is an example of the Federal Circuit holding a molecule patent invalid for obviousness.

The Federal Circuit upheld US District Court for the District of Delaware Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke's opinion that held claim 8 of U.S. Patent No. 5,206,244 invalid in light of a structurally similar molecule. Claim 8 covers the entecavir molecule, which is the active ingredient in BMS' Baraclude® tablets, which are designed to treat hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Teva successfully argued that one of ordinary skill in the art seeking to make an anti-HBV drug in October 1990 would have selected a prior art compound called 2'-CDG as a "lead compound" and would have modified it by adding a methylene (i.e. carbon-carbon double bond) group as indicated in the diagram to the right, below.

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Topics:  Bristol-Myers Squibb, Obviousness, Patent Infringement, Patent Litigation, Patents, Pharmaceutical, Teva Pharmaceuticals

Published In: Civil Procedure Updates, Intellectual Property Updates, Science, Computers & Technology Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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