Recent Pharmaceutical Patent Decisions in the United States
There has been a renewed interest of the Supreme Court of the United States in patent law, particularly with regard to pharma related patents. The overall trend in US patent law is the continued tension between the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the Federal Circuit), the patent specialty court in the United States which favours broad patent rights, and the Supreme Court of the United States, which uses its supervisory authority to reign in the strong patent rights advocated by the lower court. In this paper, recent important decisions with regard to pharmaceutical patents that highlight the Supreme Court’s oversight of the Federal Circuit’s patent decisions are reviewed. A survey of recent decisions that exemplify the Federal Circuit’s broad view of patent rights, by expanding patent-holders’ rights whether affirming or reversing District Court decisions that found patents invalid or unenforceable is also covered in the paper. These decisions may face appeal at the Supreme Court and result in similar reversal.
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