Summary: Jury verdict findings that antihypertension drug was not “obvious to try,” that defendants were not entitled to a new trial, and that the plaintiffs had standing affirmed.

Case: Sanofi-Aventis v. Glenmark, No. 2012-1489 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 21, 2014) (precedential) On appeal from the District of New Jersey. Before Circuit Judges Newman, Linn and Wallach. Judgments and rulings affirmed. Remanded for the accounting of any post-verdict damages.

Procedural Posture: Defendant accused infringers appealed the district court’s judgment of no invalidity, arguing that (1) the patent-in-suit is invalid, (2) a new trial is warranted based on a prejudicial jury instruction on evidence spoliation, and (3) no lost profits damages should be awarded due to lack of standing. Plaintiffs challenged jurisdiction. CAFC affirmed.

  • Jurisdiction: The Federal Circuit held that although post-trial damages issues remained to be decided by the district court, the court had jurisdiction over the appeal under 28 U.S.C § 1292(c).
  • Invalidity: The Federal Circuit rejected the defendants’ argument that the antihypertension drug at issue merely substituted the known angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor for another, and that it was “obvious to try” double-ring ACE inhibitors with calcium antagonists. Accordingly, the Federal Circuit found that substantial evidence existed to support the jury’s finding that obviousness had not been proved.
  • Jury Instruction: The Federal Circuit also rejected the argument that the defendants were entitled to a new trial due to a prejudicial jury instruction on spoliation of evidence and affirmed the district court’s decision to instruct the jury that it could draw an adverse inference against the defendants that electronic documents deleted after litigation had reasonably been foreseen may have been unfavorable.
  • Standing: The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s findings that two of the plaintiffs had standing and could recover lost profits because they had exclusive rights to the patented product in the United States.