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Opinion Summary – Novartis Pharmaceuticals v. Accord Healthcare Inc.

Last week, we reported that the Federal Circuit issued a relatively rare opinion granting panel rehearing in a patent case, Novartis Pharmaceuticals v. Accord Healthcare Inc. In the original, now-vacated opinion, a panel comprised of Judges O’Malley and Linn, with Chief Judge Moore dissenting, indicated the court would affirm a district court’s judgment that claims are not invalid for inadequate written description. Notably, however, a different panel ruled on the motion for panel rehearing. In particular, with Judge O’Malley’s retirement from the court, Judge Hughes joined the panel. The new panel, and in particular Chief Judge Moore (no longer dissenting) and Judge Hughes, with Judge Linn now dissenting, granted the petition for panel rehearing, vacated the panel’s prior decision, and, in the new opinion, now reverse the district court’s judgment. Perhaps most importantly, the changed outcome reflects a difference of view regarding application of the written description requirement. Here is an update on the case.

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