Robert Schaffer & Joseph Robinson

 

Robert Schaffer is an intellectual property partner at Troutman Sanders. Bob applies more than 30 years of experience to IP counseling and litigation. His work includes patent procurement, strategic planning and transactional advice, due diligence investigations, district court patent cases, and Federal Circuit appeals. He regularly handles complex and high-profile domestic and international patent portfolios, intellectual property agreements and licensing, IP evaluations for collaborations, mergers, and acquisitions. In disputed court cases Bob’s work includes representing and counseling client in ANDA litigations, complex patent infringement cases and appeals, and multidistrict and international cases. In disputed Patent Office matters his work includes representing and counseling clients in interferences, reexaminations, reissues, post-grant proceedings, and in European Oppositions. For more information and to contact Bob please visit his profile page at the Troutman Sanders website.

Joseph Robinson has over 20 years of experience in all aspects of intellectual property law. He focuses his practice in the pharmaceutical, life sciences, biotechnology, and medical device fields. His practice encompasses litigation, including Hatch-Waxman litigation; licensing; counseling; due diligence; and patent and trademark prosecution. He has served as litigation counsel in a variety of patent and trademark disputes in many different jurisdictions, and has also served as appellate counsel before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Joe also focuses on complex inter partes matters before the U.S Patent and Trademark Office, inventorship disputes, reexaminations and reissues. His experience includes numerous interferences, a particular advantage in new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office post-grant proceedings. He also counsels on patent–related U.S. Food and Drug Administration issues, including citizen petitions, Orange Book listing, and trademark issues. For more information and to contact Joe please visit his profile page at the Troutman Sanders website.

Recent Articles by

Federal Circuit Holds Banks to Be ‘Persons’ Under the America Invents Act

Recently, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, holding that the Board correctly determined that the claims 21–24 of U.S. Patent No. 6,754,640 (’640 patent) and claims 1-20 of U.S. Patent 8,768,840 (’840 patent), both owned by Bozeman Financial LLC (Bozeman), are directed to patent ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. To reach this decision, the Federal Circuit first determined the appellees, all 12 of the United States Federal Reserve Banks (Banks), to be “persons” under the America Invents Act (AIA) and, therefore, eligible to petition for post-issuance review under the AIA. See Bozeman Fin. LLC v. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, No. 2019-1018, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 11315 (Fed. Cir. April 10, 2020) (Before Lourie, Dyk, and Moore, Circuit Judges) (Opinion for the Court, Moore, Circuit Judge).  

Federal Circuit Affirms Board Finding That Customedia Patents Are Directed to an Abstract Idea

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently ruled on a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) Covered Business Method (CBM) Decision, affirming the Board’s holding that certain challenged claims of Customedia Technology’s patents are unpatentable as directed to the abstract idea of delivering targeted advertising using a computer. See Customedia Techs., LLC v. Dish Network Corp., 2018-2239, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 7005 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 6, 2020) (Before Prost, Chief Judge, Dyk and Moore, Circuit Judges) (Opinion for the Court, Prost, Chief Judge). Customedia argued that providing a reserved and dedicated section of storage, as in the claims, improves the data delivery system’s ability to store advertising data, transfers data at improved speeds, and prevents system inoperability due to insufficient storage. However, the Federal Circuit did not find this sufficient for finding an improvement to the functionality of the computer itself. 

PTAB Refuses to Apply SAS Institute on Remand as Ordered by Federal Circuit, Federal Circuit Denies Rehearing

The Federal Circuit recently denied a petition by BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (BioDelivery) for a rehearing en banc following a refusal by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to apply the Supreme Court’s decision in SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu, 138 S. Ct. 1348 (2018). See BioDelivery Scis. Int’l, Inc. v. Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc., Nos. 2019-1643, 2019-1644, 2019-1645, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 1030 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 13, 2020) (Before Prost, Chief Judge, Newman, Lourie, Dyk, Moore, O’Malley, Reyna, Wallach, Taranto, Chen, and Hughes, Circuit Judges) (Opinion for the Court, Lourie, Circuit Judge) (Dissenting opinion, Newman, Circuit Judge). The petition for rehearing arrived at the Federal Circuit following a decision by the PTAB to disregard a remand order by the Federal Circuit ordering the PTAB to apply the Supreme Court’s holding in SAS Institute and decide all of the claims and grounds challenged in an inter partes review. Rather, the PTAB, on remand, withdrew all of its past actions as to the proceedings at issue and denied the petition in its entirety. BioDelivery then petitioned the Federal Circuit for a rehearing en banc, but the Federal Circuit voted to deny the rehearing, with Circuit Judge Newman offering the only dissenting opinion.

Federal Circuit Finds District Court Applied Overly Restrictive Interpretation of the Relation Back Doctrine

Recently, the Federal Circuit reversed, vacated and remanded a decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado that granted Mushkin, Inc.’s (“Mushkin’s”) motion to dismiss Anza Tech.’s (“Anza”) complaint seeking damages for alleged patent infringement occurring between March 2011 and April 2012 because the claim for damages was time-barred by the six-year statute of limitations in the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. § 286. See Anza Tech., Inc. v. Mushkin, Inc., No. 2019-1045, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24432 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 16, 2019) (Before Prost, Chief Judge, Newman and Bryson, Circuit Judges) (Opinion for the Court, Bryson, Circuit Judge). In its determination of whether newly alleged claims, based on separate patents, relate back to the date of the original complaint, the Federal Circuit considered: (1) the overlap of parties, (2) the overlap in the accused products, (3) the underlying science and technology, (4) time periods, and (5) any additional factors that might suggest a commonality or lack of commonality between the two sets of claims.

Federal Circuit Affirms Validity of Endo Pharmaceuticals Patent for Morphinan Pain Relief Compounds

The Federal Circuit recently affirmed a district court ruling finding patent infringement after holding that Actavis LLC, Actavis South Atlantic LLC, and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. (collectively, “Actavis”) failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the claims asserted by Endo Pharmaceuticals and Mallinckrodt LLC (collectively, “Endo”) were invalid. See Endo Pharms., Inc. v. Actavis LLC, No. 2018-1054, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 13348 (Fed. Cir. May 3, 2019) (Before Wallach, Clevenger, and Stoll J.) (Opinion for the Court, Wallach, J.) (Dissenting opinion, Stoll, J.). However, the decision was not a unanimous one, with Judge Stoll authoring a dissent that would have reversed the district court. The patent at issue, U.S. Patent No 8,871,779 (the “‘779 patent”), is directed generally to compounds known as “morphinan alkaloids,” which are used for pain relief. More specifically, the ‘779 patent concerned processes for making “highly pure” morphinan products in the form of hydrochloride salts. Actavis claimed that the ‘779 patent was invalid, citing three key references as prior art. The first reference was a scientific article from 1957 by Ulrich Weiss (the “Weiss reference”) discussing a method for producing oxymorphone, a compound within the scope of the asserted claims. The second reference was U.S. Patent Application No. 2005/0222188 (the “Chapman reference”), which disclosed a purification process related to the asserted claims. Finally, the third reference was another article from 1967 by Henry Rapoport et al. (the “Rapoport reference”), which disclosed another purification process for oxycodone. The district court found that none of these references rendered the asserted claims obvious, and Actavis appealed.

Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB Ruling That Prior Art and FDA Skepticism Supports Non-Obviousness Finding

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) decision upholding the patentability of Eli Lilly & Co.’s patent claims directed to reducing toxicity of a chemotherapy agent. In so holding, the Federal Circuit cited the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) skepticism of the efficacy of the methods as evidence supporting non-obviousness. See Neptune Generics, LLC v. Eli Lilly & Co., Nos. 2018-1288, 2018-1290, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 12492 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 26, 2019) (Before Moore, Wallach, and Hughes, J.) (Opinion for the Court, Moore, J.) Neptune Generics, LLC, Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC, and Mylan Laboratories Ltd. (collectively, the Petitioners) filed three petitions for inter partes review (IPR) against claims 1-22 of U.S. Patent No. 7,772,209 (the ?209 patent) owned by Eli Lilly & Co. The ?209 patent generally relates to methods of administering folic acid and a methylmalonic acid (MMA) lowering agent, such as vitamin B12, before administering pemetrexed disodium, a chemotherapy agent, to reduce the toxic effects of pemetrexed. The Board found that the ?209 patent was not unpatentable as obvious because it was not known in the art to pretreat pemetrexed with vitamin B12 along with folic acid and the skepticism of others, specifically the FDA, supported a conclusion of non-obviousness. The Federal Circuit found that substantial evidence supported the PTAB’s findings and affirmed.

Federal Circuit Reverses Patent Ineligibility Finding at Pleading Stage in Natural Alternatives

In Natural Alternatives Int’l, Inc. v. Creative Compounds, LLC, the Federal Circuit reversed the decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, which had held that a series of patents owned by Natural Alternatives International, Inc. (“Natural Alternatives”) were directed to laws of nature and lacked an inventive concept sufficient to render them patent eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Natural Alternatives Int’l, Inc. v. Creative Compounds, LLC, No. 18-1295, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 7647 (Fed Cir. March 15, 2019) (Before Moore, Reyna, and Wallach, Circuit Judges) (Opinion for the Court, Moore, Circuit Judge) (Concurring-in-part and dissenting in part, Reyna, Circuit Judge). The patents at issue were directed to the use of beta-alanine in dietary supplements to “increas[e] the anaerobic working capacity of muscle and other tissue.” After Natural Alternatives asserted the patents in multiple lawsuits in California, Creative Compounds, LLC (“Creative Compounds”) moved for judgment on the pleadings. The district court granted the motion. In performing its eligibility analysis, the district court accepted Natural Alternatives’ proposed claim construction and held that the asserted claims were patent ineligible. Natural Alternatives appealed, and the Federal Circuit reversed and remanded.

Federal Circuit Again Reverses PTAB’s Finding of Unpatentability in Apple IPR Challenge

The Federal Circuit recently reversed a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) finding claims of a patent owned by PersonalWeb Technologies, LLC to be invalid.  Apple, Inc. (Apple) petitioned for inter partes review (IPR), and the Board found certain claims of the patent to be invalid as obvious in light of two references.  The Federal Circuit reversed, holding the Board provided insufficient evidence to support a finding of inherency.  Pers. Web Techs., LLC v. Apple, Inc., No. 2018-1599, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 6919 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 8, 2019) (Before Moore, Taranto, and Chen, Circuit Judges) (Opinion for the Court, Chen, Circuit Judge).