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18 November 2014Biotechnology

Federal Circuit upholds injection ruling

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has denied pharmaceutical company Antares Pharma an injunction that aimed to block a rival from allegedly infringing a patent covering injection devices.

The decision, issued yesterday (November 17), affirmed a decision from the US District Court for the District of Delaware.

Antares had sought a preliminary injunction to prevent biopharmaceutical company Medac from allegedly infringing its US patent number RE44,846.

The patent, a reissue of a previous patent (7,776,015), covered devices used to self-inject pharmaceuticals used to treat inflammatory diseases.

In September last year, Medac submitted a new drug application with the FDA for pre-filled methotrexate syringes, which it intends to sell under the trade name Rasuvo.

Antares, which then filed the lawsuit but before its patent was re-issued, claimed the device would infringe claims of the ‘015 patent. It later amended its complaint to include the ‘846 patent.

But, according to the district court in July, during the patent’s reissue Antares claimed its method was not limited to jet injectors (a certain type of syringe) despite previously claiming that it was.

The court found that because Antares had “broadened its claims” during the patent’s re-issue it should be denied a request for an injunction.

Issuing its judgment, the Federal Circuit agreed and said Antares could not properly show a likelihood of success surrounding the merits of its new claims.

“Because Antares cannot show likelihood of success on the merits with respect to these claims, the district court properly denied Antares’s motion for a preliminary injunction,” the Federal Circuit said.

Medac was represented by law firm Ropes & Gray.

In a statement, the firm’s IP team said it was pleased with the decision.

“The Federal Circuit’s decision not only affirmed the district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction motion filed by Antares, but also invalidated all of Antares’s claims on appeal. Going forward, this decision is likely to have significant impact on reissue claims for patent prosecution and litigation purposes," it said.

Antares and Medac did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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