Bloomberg Law
Dec. 31, 2019, 4:59 PM

Federal Circuit Ruling Could Put Certain Drug Patents At Risk

Matthew Bultman
Matthew Bultman

A recent Federal Circuit decision involving an opioid pain medication could leave certain pharmaceutical patents vulnerable to challenges by generic drug makers, attorneys say.

Claims in two Zohydro ER patents were obvious, and a district court correctly found that characteristics of those claims not explicitly disclosed in earlier documents would inevitably be present, or inherent, the appeals court said.

The Dec. 27 ruling could make it more difficult for companies to enforce certain types of patent claims that can be a fallback when protections for a drug’s active ingredient expire, attorneys say. Generic drug makers can use inherent obviousness as ...

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