Appeals Court Overturns Infringement Finding Against Apotex

January 17, 2018

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that a district court was overly broad in its interpretation of patents in a lawsuit by a Teva subsidiary accusing Apotex of infringing its patents for the coating on a muscle relaxant pill.

In the original lawsuit, filed in December 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, Teva subsidiary Aptalis accused Apotex of infringing on patents for Aptalis’ extended-release coating for its muscle spasm treatment Amrix.

A Delaware district court found in favor of the plaintiffs, leading Apotex to appeal the finding.

The district court interpreted “extended release coating,” the disputed claim term, to mean “a layer of any substance that is applied onto the surface of another, the purpose of which is to delay the release of a drug in order to maintain the drug at therapeutically effective concentrations over an extended period of time,” leading it to find in favor of the plaintiffs.

In its Jan. 4 opinion, the appeals court argued the court should have interpreted the term to imply a continuous outer film, leading it to vacate the infringement finding and return it for rehearing.

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