Merck Can't Save Patents In 1st Fed Circ. Pharma AIA Appeal

By Ryan Davis (December 17, 2015, 8:06 PM EST) -- The Federal Circuit on Thursday affirmed inter partes review decisions invalidating many claims of four dietary supplement patents that a Merck KGaA unit accused biotech firm Gnosis of infringing, in the appeals court's first America Invents Act review decision involving pharmaceutical-related patents.

In a 2-1 decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's 2014 decisions in four inter partes reviews holding that the claims of the patents challenged by Gnosis SpA are unpatentable as obvious.

The court rejected Merck's arguments that it would not have been obvious to combine the prior art to arrive at the claimed inventions, which...

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