Abbott Labs v. Sandoz (Fed. Cir. 2009) (en banc) 07-1400.pdf
The Federal Circuit had developed two opposing lines of cases for interpreting the scope of a product-by-process claim. Acting en banc sua sponte sub secretum, the appellate body sided with the Atlantic Thermoplatics line in holding that infringement of a product-by-process claim requires practicing the claimed process steps. This decision makes Judge Newman's 1991 Scripps decision no longer good law. (Note, the en banc portion is only Section III.A.2).
[T]his court now restates that “process terms in product-by-process claims serve as limitations in determining infringement.”
The holding here explicitly focuses on claim construction for the purposes of infringement. Based on my first-pass, it appears that the court has left undecided whether this rule applies for validity purposes. I.e., can a product-by-process claim now cover a well known product made through a new process?
- This is a very interesting decision and more analysis will be forthcoming.
- Perhaps the most interesting portion of the decision is Judge Newman's 39 page dissent.
- Based on this Decision, generic Omnicef will continue to be available.