Thursday, October 15, 2015

"Poster Child For Impermissible Hindsight Reasoning" Does Not Warrant § 285 Fee Award

The court denied plaintiff's motion for attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 because defendants' invalidity and unenforceability arguments were not baseless. "[Plaintiff] argues that the defendants’ Paragraph IV certifications were baseless because the asserted obviousness and unenforceability theories were legally deficient and flawed. . . . The Federal Circuit, in affirming our findings as to the validity and enforceability of the [patent-in-suit], forcefully declared this case a 'poster child for impermissible hindsight reasoning.' While that ringing phrase certainly gives strength to [plaintiff's] argument for attorney fees, this Court found numerous substantive issues raised by the defendants requiring careful analysis in this Court’s trial opinion. It was a high-stakes case involving patent coverage of a so-called blockbuster drug. But the factual and legal issues presented, as well as the procedural history and discovery, were similar to those frequently encountered in this expensive area of pharmaceutical patent law."

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. v. Sandoz, Inc., 3-07-cv-01000 (NJD October 9, 2015, Order) (Cooper, J.)

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