United States: Landmark Patent Infringement Case Before The U.S. Supreme Court Sent Back to Federal Circuit for Review
Last Updated: June 15 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 13, 2005) — The U.S. Supreme Court decision today in Merck KGaA v. Integra LifeSciences (03-1237) didn't determine either the winner or the loser in what has been touted as a landmark case involving the FDA exemption to patent infringement.

Declining to review the evidence itself, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to determine whether the evidence presented in the case was sufficient to support the jury's verdict in Integra's favor, returned after a 28 day trial in 2001. The Supreme Court indicated that the FDA exemption should be given broader scope than was given by the Federal Circuit. But it also indicated that the interpretation of the law proposed by Integra for instruction to the jury, and on which the jury based its verdict, was correct.

"We are confident that when the evidence is reviewed, the Federal Circuit will uphold the judgment in favor of Integra," said Mauricio Flores of McDermott Will & Emery, who argued the case at trial and before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court expressly stated that it didn't decide the important issue of whether the exemption can be applied to activities that infringe patents on biomedical research tools. That issue is being closely watched by both the biotech and the pharmaceutical industry.

Mr. Flores, now a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery, tried the case before the jury. In addition, he argued the case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and presented the arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, with the assistance of McDermott Will & Emery partners Ray Lupo, M. Miller Baker and Cathryn Campbell. The patents-in-suit were prosecuted by Cathryn Campbell.

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