BernadetteMcGann : CAFC Alert

Latest Developments in Calculating Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) from the District Courts

Bernadette McGann | November 21, 2012

Exelixis, Inc. v. Kappos

Decided  November 1, 2012

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

University of Massachusetts v. Kappos

Decided  November 9, 2012

U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia


This week, rather than discuss a CAFC case, we take a look at two important District Court cases dealing with Patent Term Adjustment (PTA).  According to Exelixis, under 35 U.S.C. §154(b)(1)(B), the filing of a Request for Continued Examination (RCE) has no impact on PTA determinations when filed after the three year examination guarantee has passed.  Additionally, according to University of Massachusetts, under 35 U.S.C. §154(b)(1)(A), a fundamentally flawed Office Action will count towards calculating an A delay.

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The threshold to acquiring intervening rights by reexamination requires new or amended claim language

Bernadette McGann | March 21, 2012

Marine Polymer Technologies, Inc. v Hemcon, Inc. (en banc)

March 15, 2012

Panel: Rader, Newman, Lourie, Bryson, Gajarsa, Linn, Dyk, Prost, Reyna and Wallach (en banc)

Opinion for the court by Lourie. Rader, Newman, Bryson and Prost join in full and Linn joins in part II (Intervening Rights)

Opinion for the dissent by Dyk. Gajarsa, Reyna, and Wallach join in full and Linn joins in parts I-II (Claim construction, dismissing HemCon motion for JMOL and/or new trial)


Based on statutory interpretation of 35 U.S.C. §307(b), the Majority held that the threshold requirement for acquiring intervening rights is that there must be amended or new claims that did not exist in the original patent but have been found to be patentable during reexamination.  The CAFC held that amended means to make formal changes to the actual language of a claim.  A claim is not amended merely because the scope of the claim has been altered by arguments presented during reexamination.

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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.

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