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On Feb. 16, 2018 Judge Leonard P. Stark granted a renewed motion by Gilead Sciences Inc. for judgment as a matter of law upon finding that a patent held by Idenix Pharmaceuticals LLC for treating hepatitis C virus (HCV) was invalid due to lack of enablement.
On Feb. 24, 2017, a jury had awarded Idenix, which is affiliated with Merck & Co., $2.54 billion for lost sales due to Gilead’s patent infringement. At trial, Gilead had admitted that its drugs, Sovaldi and Harvoni, were based on the same nucleoside in its sofosbuvir compound. However, it argued that the patent was invalid due to failure to include a written description of what the invention did, and due to lack of enablement. Although Judge Stark found the description was sufficient, he agreed with Gilead as to the enablement argument. Judge Stark noted that the structural limitations of the claims were satisfied by billions of compounds, that use of modified ribonucleosides to treat HCV was in its infancy, and that adequate screening took time and effort.
Lexis subscribers can access the full opinion at: Idenix Pharms. LLC v. Gilead Scis., Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25663 (D. Del. Feb. 16, 2018)
Lexis Advanced subscribers can access the full opinion at: Idenix Pharms. LLC v. Gilead Scis., Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25663, 2018 WL 922125
Author: Sheri Steinmetz, Lexis-Nexis Case Law Editor
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