Celltrion Did Not Infringe Janssen's Remicade Patent, Court Finds in Summary Judgment

This week, the district court of Massachusetts granted Celltrion’s motion for a summary judgment of non-infringement of the last patent in question in the long-running Janssen v Celltrion case.
 
The Center for Biosimilars Staff
August 02, 2018
This week, the district court of Massachusetts granted Celltrion’s motion for a summary judgment of non-infringement of the last patent in question in Janssen v Celltrion.

In April 2018, Celltrion asked the court for the summary judgment of non-infringement; Janssen, maker of the reference infliximab, Remicade, claimed that Celltrion infringed on a patent that covers chemically-defined media compositions for the culture of eukaryotic cells.

In support of its motion, Celltrion said that Janssen’s patent is not new, and argued that the court should terminate the case based on ensnarement, or the principle that prior art—or elements of patented information that are already publicly available—restricts the scope of what the alleging party can assert under the doctrine of equivalents, which is a legal rule holding that, while a product may not literally infringe on a patented invention, the product may have elements that are equivalent to those described in a patent.

In this week’s ruling, the court said that the ensnarement defense prevents the patent holder form using the doctrine of equivalents to gain coverage that it would not otherwise be able to obtain by claiming literal infringement. “In essence,” reads the decision, “the court finds that no reasonable factfinder could conclude that the hypothetical claims that Janssen relies upon to avoid ensnarement would have been patentable because they were obvious rather than inventive,” and obviousness of an invention is a statutory bar to its patentability.

The decision brings to a close a long-running case that involved not only the patent covering media compositions, but one that covered the infliximab antibody itself. That patent was invalidated by the district court of Massachusetts in September 2016 for double patenting.


 

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