U.S. Supreme Court

SCOTUS to consider deference standard in patent appeals in case of MS drug

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday accepted a case involving patents for the multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.

The issue in the case is how much deference should be given findings of fact by trial judges in patent infringement litigation, report the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.), SCOTUSblog, Bloomberg News and the Associated Press.

According to SCOTUSblog, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit construes the claims made by an inventor using its own independent judgment. The customary approach used by federal appeals courts is to review factual conclusions to determine whether they are “clearly erroneous.”

Teva Pharmaceuticals is the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, but in this case it is fighting drug companies that want to offer a generic version of its drug Copaxone, the New York Times reports. The list price of Copaxone and other older multiple sclerosis drugs is about $60,000 a year, the story says.

The case is Teva Pharmaceuticals USA v. Sandoz Inc.

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