Patent victory shapes inter partes reexaminations
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in favor of MoloLamken client Abbott Laboratories in its long-running patent dispute with Cordis Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson company. After Cordis sued Abbott for infringement of patents relating to drug-eluting stents, Abbott sought inter partes reexamination of the patents at the Patent and Trademark Office. Cordis then sought discovery from Abbott for use before the PTO. The district court granted Abbott's motion to quash, and the Federal Circuit affirmed, ruling that discovery is not available in inter partes reexaminations before the PTO. Inter partes reexaminations, the court held, are not "contested cases" within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 24, the provision authorizing subpoenas in aid of PTO proceedings.
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Discovery Barred in Patent Re-Exams, Fed. Circ. Rules