25 January 2017Americas

Federal Circuit vacates district court decision on antioxidant patent

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has vacated a district court’s grant of summary judgment of non-infringement and remanded a case involving China-based Zhejiang Medicine, Japanese company Keneka and ZMC-USA.

The case, which was decided on Monday, January 23, came from the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas and centres on US patent number 7,910,340, titled “Processes for producing coenzyme Q10”. The case was an appeal by Kaneka, which owns the patent.

Oxidised coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant used in health supplements.

Initially, Kaneka brought suit against Zhejiang Medicine and ZMC-USA, asserting that their manufacturing processes infringe the ‘340 patent.

In the appeal, Kaneka argued that the district court erred in its decision on non-infringement as it “improperly changed” the construction of “oxidising”.

Kaneka further argued that the district court abused its discretion in “excluding the portions of Dr Sherman’s expert report regarding the ‘oxidising’ limitation and denying its alternative request to supplement its expert report”. Sherman is Kaneka’s expert witness.

The Federal Circuit said that even without consideration of Sherman’s opinions, there is a “dispute of material fact” regarding whether ZMC’s processes meet the “oxidising” limitation.

It added: “The district court erred in granting ZMC’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement.”

The case is nonprecedential.

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