Judge Rules Actavis Infringed on Orexigen’s Contrave Patents

October 18, 2017

A federal judge ruled that Actavis Laboratories infringed on patents held by Orexigen Therapeutics.

Actavis argued that three of the seven patents at issue were obvious and lacked a written description, but Judge Richard G. Andrews of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware  ruled that while Orexigen’s use of the APIs naltrexone hydrochloride and bupropion hydrochloride were not new innovations, Actavis did not meet the legal standard to prove obviousness.

The judge further ruled that the claim that bupropion is an obvious choice for further investigation as a weight loss treatment derives from “impermissible hindsight bias.” Prior to the patent, he writes, the API’s weight loss effects were considered “relatively modest at best.” Similarly, the prior literature cited would not make clear to a person “of ordinary skill” that naltrexone could serve as an effective weight loss treatment.

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