Of Mice and Men – The US Supreme Court refuses to consider reinstatement of Texas Jury’s $1.8 Billion Patent Verdict


In February, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up an appellate court’s reversal of a $1.7 billion jury verdict, instead providing a lesson on the importance of adequate written descriptions in patent filings. The underlying suit involved the hugely profitable drug Adalimumab (Humira® brand), as well as pharmaceutically engineered mouse and human antibodies used to treat arthritis.

Beginning in the late-1980s, Centocor (plaintiff Janssen’s predecessor-in-interest), together with researchers at New York University, created a genetically designed mouse antibody and, eventually, a “chimeric” antibody (made from combining mouse and human antibodies - a Chimera is a mythological creature described in Homer’s Iliad as having the body parts of several different animals). In 1991, Centocor filed a patent application on its chimeric and mouse antibodies, and it subsequently filed a series of continuation-in-part patent applications throughout the 1990s. While the continuation-in-part applications expanded the descriptions of the chimerical and mouse antibodies, these antibodies were still not ready for arthritis treatment in humans.

Excerpted from the Tarrant County Bar Bulletin, April 2012. To read the full article, click here.

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