Ariad v. Eli Lilly (en banc suggestion 2009)
Ariad has petitioned the Federal Circuit for an en banc rehearing - boldly asking the court to eliminate the written description test as a distinct requirement of patentability under 35 USC Section 112, paragraph 1. The petition - drafted by Professors Duffy and Whealan - is essentially a well-formed collage of quotations from Federal Circuit dissents and 19th Century Supreme Court decisions.
The petition raises the following two questions:
(1) Whether this Court has erred by "engrafting . . . a separate written description requirement onto section 112, paragraph 1 .... " Ariad Pharms., Inc. v. Eli Lilly & Co., 560 F.3d 1366, 1380 (Fed. Cir. 2009) (Linn, J., concurring).
(2) What is the proper test to satisfy the requirement in Section 112, paragraph 1, that a patent specification contain "a written description of the invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it, in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the same"?
Apart from the merits of this case, the brief notes that half of the Federal Circuit judges "have either voted to grant en banc review of this Court’s written description jurisprudence (Newman, Rader, Bryson, Gajarsa, and Linn, JJ.), or have expressly noted that future en banc review may be appropriate because this Court’s written description standards are unsatisfactory. (Dyk, J.).
- Ariad Brief: ariadrehearingpetition.pdf
- Federal Circuit Decision
- The original opinion was written by Judge Moore and joined by Judge Prost. Judge Linn wrote a concurring opinion as a reminder of his belief that the written description requirement should be eliminated and enablement be allowed to do its job.
- Patent Docs has more.