Applying Double-Patenting Safe Harbor After St. Jude

Law360, New York (September 24, 2013, 12:29 PM EDT) -- In a decision rendered on Sept. 11, 2013, the Federal Circuit reversed the district court’s ruling that claims in a first sibling patent (“Janzen patent”) were protected under the safe-harbor provision of 35 U.S.C. § 121 from invalidity due to double-patenting over claims in a related second sibling patent (“sibling patent”). This case is particularly important in arts, such as biotechnology, wherein patent examiners often issue a restriction requirement in combination with an election of species requirement.

The safe-harbor provision can be invoked when a line...
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