Dey,L.P. v. Sunovion Pharma, Inc., No. 12-1428 (Fed. Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Sunovion and Dey plaintiffs were simultaneously developing pharmaceutical products to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by storing the compound formoterol in an aqueous solution and administering it through a nebulizer. Sunovion filed a patent application, followed by an application to test its products in human subjects. It then received a patent and held clinical trials, before ultimately releasing a commercial product. Dey likewise filed a series of patent applications, received several patents, ran human subject trials, and released a commercial product. Dey’s patent applications were filed after Sunovion’s, and its patents were issued after consideration of Sunovion’s patent. When Dey sued Sunovion for patent infringement, the district court held that some of Dey’s patents were invalid because a Sunovion clinical trial in which Sunovion tested its own product constituted anticipated Dey’s inventions and a prior public use within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. 102(b). The Federal Circuit reversed. Sunovion has not shown that it is entitled to summary judgment based on its assertion that its use of formulations meeting the limitations of Dey’s later-issued patents constituted a public use of Dey’s inventions within the meaning of section 102(b).