Acorda Therapeutics: Other Patents Covering Invention Precludes Reliance on Secondary Indicia of NonObviousness

by Dennis Crouch Acorda Therapeutics v. Roxane Labs (Fed. Cir. 2018) In a 50+ page majority opinion, the Federal Circuit has affirmed a district court obviousness judgment.  Judge Taranto penned the majority opinion and was joined by Judge Dyk. Judge Newman wrote in dissent — arguing in 20+ additional pages that the majority improperly discounted the objective indicia of non-obviousness. On news of the invalidity decision, Acorda’s stock price dropped 25%. Acorda’s branded drug Ampyra is the only approved pill proven to “help improve walking [speed] in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS).”  The patents don’t cover the 4-AP drug itself — 4-AP was already publicly known — but cover particular apparently important tweaks in administration and dosage. (U.S. Patent No. 8,007,826; No. 8,663,685; No. 8,354,437; and No. 8,440,703).  Acorda also exclusively licensed an earlier patent (the Elan patent) that broadly…

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