CAFC Allows Willful Infringer to Continue Infringements for an “Ongoing Royalty” Due to “the Public’s Interest to Allow Competition in the Medical Device Arena”
Stephen Parker | February 16, 2012
Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc., et al. v. W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
February 10, 2012
Panel: Gajarsa, Linn and Newman. Opinion by Gajarsa. Dissent by Newman.
This decision concludes a forty-year-long story that began in 1973 between two cooperating individuals that independently filed patent applications for vascular grafts in 1974. Those applications went to interference in 1983 and have been the subject of ongoing litigation since, concluding now in the current CAFC decision. The Arizona district court from which the present case was appealed expressed that this was “the most complicated case the district court has [ever] presided over.” In this case, the Gore inventor was the first to both 1) conceive of the invention and 2) file a patent application in 1974 (i.e., filing 6 months prior to the Bard inventor), but Gore lost in an interference before the Patent Office. Now, Gore is found to be willfully infringing the patent that was awarded to Bard, and is subjected to doubled damages (i.e., totaling $371 million) and attorney’s fees (i.e., totaling $19 million). However, despite these findings, the CAFC allows Gore to continue infringing, declining a permanent injunction and awarding reasonable royalties in the amount of between 12.5% to 20% for future infringements due to the weight of “the public interest to allow competition in the medical device arena.”
Joint Inventorship of a novel compound may exist even if co-inventor only developed method of making
Bernadette McGann | January 25, 2012
Falana v. Kent State University and Alexander J. Seed
January 23, 2012
Panel: Linn, Prost and Reyna. Opinion by Linn.
The CAFC held that a putative inventor who envisioned the structure of a novel chemical compound and contributed to the method of making that compound is a joint inventor of a claim covering that compound. One may be a joint inventor even if co-inventor’s contribution to conception is merely a method of making the claimed product and said co-inventor does not synthesize the claimed compound.
Infringement Argument Contradicting Prosecution History and Based On Unreliable Expert Testimony Can Make The Case “Exceptional” Incurring Opponent’s Attorneys Fees
Sadao Kinashi | January 11, 2012
MarcTec, LLC v. Johnson & Johnson and Cordis Corp.
January 3, 2012
Panel: Newman, Prost and O’Malley. Opinion by O’Malley.
The CAFC affirmed the district court’s award of attorney fees and expert fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285. During prosecution of the application, Applicant amended the claims to make clear that his invention required the application of heat to a heat-bondable material. Applicant also distinguished the surgical device from stents in order to obtain allowance. Patentee alleged infringement by accused stents having a coating sprayed at room temperature. Patentee further argued that accused product’s coating is, in fact, bonded by heat. In support of this position, Patentee offered expert testimony that spraying the coating at nearly the speed of sound would cause an increase in temperature such that heat is involved in bonding the coating to the stent. The expert testimony also alleged that heat is used in some of the manufacturing steps before the coating is sprayed onto the accused product. The court held that Patentee’s argument was baseless and frivolous and that Patentee acted in bad faith in bringing and pressing this suit.