Adjusting the Inequitable Conduct Doctrine: Federal Circuit Hears Oral Arguments En Banc in Therasense


On November 9, 2010, the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, heard oral arguments in Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson & Co., regarding the legal tests to be applied in determining whether a patent is unenforceable due to inequitable conduct. This has been a controversial issue over the last several years among practitioners, Federal Circuit judges, and industry groups, particularly Big Pharma. This article assumes some familiarity with the case and the issues. However, for background information on both, please click (see article for link).

Plaintiff Abbott, Defendant Becton, Dickinson, Defendant Nova, and the PTO argued at the hearing. They addressed the following issues: (a) the standard for materiality; (b) intent; and (c) whether the facts of the case warranted a finding of inequitable conduct. The argument primarily focused on the materiality inquiry.

[Please note that while we have done our best to appropriately attribute comments to the specific Federal Circuit judges who made them, the associations may not be completely accurate. There is no official transcript available at this time.]

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