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Supreme Court to Evaluate Standard of Review on Appeal of Claim Construction by District Courts

Posted on Apr 1, 2014 in Blog

On Monday, March 31, 2014, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. over its Copaxone drug which had billions of dollars in sales in 2013. Teva appealed from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which invalidated several patents covering Copaxone, a drug for treating multiple sclerosis. This case could have important implications for all future patent infringement cases as the crux of the appeal is whether the Federal Circuit should continue its de novo review of claim construction on appeal or whether it should be more deferential to the district court as the fact finder. Absent the appeal, Sandoz and Mylan would be able to launch their generic versions of the drug in May. Teva urges the Supreme Court to find that the construction of a claim term should be reviewed by the Federal Circuit only for “clear error” as opposed to the de novo standard currently used. We will continue to monitor and report on this case, as the final outcome could have huge implications in all patent infringement cases, not just ones involving ANDA litigation under the Hatch-Waxman Act.

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