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CAFC rules for Lilly in NF-kappa B suit

March 23, 2010 1:10 AM UTC

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled 9-2 in favor of Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE:LLY) in a rehearing en banc of a suit alleging the pharma infringed a patent from Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA). The court ruled that Ariad's U.S. Patent No. 6,410,516, which covers methods of reducing NF-kappa B (NF-kB) activity, was invalid because it lacked a written description of the invention demonstrating that the inventor had actually claimed the subject matter instead of only providing hypotheses. In the majority opinion, Circuit Judge Alan Lourie said the patent suggested that three types of molecules could reduce NF-kB activity, but did not actually claim any molecules with that specific mechanism of action. The en banc decision is in line with last year's CAFC decision, which was vacated in August after the CAFC agreed to rehear the case en banc (See BioCentury, Aug. 31, 2009). ...