This morning, the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in a first patent case and a nonprecedential opinion in another patent case. Here are the introductions to the opinions.
GlaxoSmithKline LLC v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. (Precedential)
GlaxoSmithKline LLC and SmithKline Beecham (Cork) Ltd. (collectively, “GSK”) charged Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. with infringement of GSK’s Reissue Patent No. RE40,000 (“the ’000 patent”). Trial was held in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware; the jury found the patent valid and infringed, and assessed damages. The jury also found that the infringement was willful. The district court then granted Teva’s motion for judgment of non-infringement as a matter of law. GSK appeals the JMOL, and Teva conditionally cross-appeals the damages verdict. No appeal is taken from the verdict of patent validity. On appellate review, we reverse the grant of JMOL and reinstate the jury verdicts, for the verdicts are supported by substantial evidence. We remand to the district court for appropriate further proceedings.
PROST, Chief Judge, dissenting.
Through the decades, many, including my colleagues, have spoken on the importance of patents in incentivizing innovation. The calls for robust patent protection have been particularly passionate in the pharmaceutical space. The critical balance of those patent rights, however, is public access to the innovation once patents have expired. Indeed, Congress designed the generic approval system with the express purpose of speeding the introduction of generic drugs to the market as soon as patents allow. Today, the Majority’s decision undermines this balance by allowing a drug marketed for unpatented uses to give rise to liability for inducement and by permitting an award of patent damages where causation has not been shown.
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Because I believe the Majority’s holding is counter to Congress’s intent and incorrectly concludes that the jury’s verdict was supported by substantial evidence, I respectfully dissent.
Hoist Fitness Systems, Inc. v. TuffStuff Fitness International, Inc. (Nonprecedential)
Plaintiff-Appellant Hoist Fitness Systems, Inc. (“Hoist”) appeals from the September 10, 2019 final judgment of noninfringement entered in the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Hoist’s patent infringement suit against Defendant-Appellee TuffStuff Fitness International, Inc. (“TuffStuff”). Hoist Fitness Sys., Inc., v. TuffStuff Fitness Int’l, Inc., Final Judgment, No. 5:17-cv-01388-AB-KK, Dkt. No. 300 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 10, 2019), J.A. 24–25 (“Final Judgment”). Hoist sued TuffStuff for infringement of the following six patents: U.S. Patent No. 7,594,880 (“the 880 patent”); U.S. Patent No. 7,563,209 (“the ’209 patent”); U.S. Patent No. 7,549,949 (“the ’949 patent”); U.S. Patent No. 7,654,938 (“the ’938 patent”); U.S. Patent No. 7,976,440 (“the ’440 patent”); and U.S. Patent No. 7,993,251 (“the ’251 patent”). Judgment was entered pursuant to the parties’ stipulation following the district court’s final pronouncement on claim construction at a pretrial status conference held on September 9, 2019. Joint Stipulation for Entry of Judgment, No. 5:17- cv-01388-AB-KK, Dkt. No. 298 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 10, 2019), J.A. 26–29 (“Joint Stipulation”). Because we discern no error in the district court’s claim construction, we affirm.