Federal Circuit Upholds Ruling in Favor of Novel Laboratories, Inc. in Sleep Aid Patent Case

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld a New Jersey district court’s ruling in favor of Robins Kaplan client Novel Laboratories, Inc., finding that three of Purdue Pharmaceutical Products LP’s patents for the sleep aid Intermezzo are invalid because they were obvious.

Novel Laboratories, along with Actavis Elizabeth LLC, Dr. Reddy’s Labs., Ltd., and others, had been sued by Purdue over plans to market their own generic versions of Intermezzo®, a sleep medication designed to aid people who wake up in the middle of the night and cannot fall back to sleep. In March 2015, U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares had ruled in favor of the generic drug companies after a 10-day bench trial, finding that Purdue’s patents are invalid for obviousness.

Purdue and co-appellant Transcept Pharmaceuticals Inc. appealed the validity of one of the patents, and argued that the patent was for a different dosage of sleep medication than other insomnia drugs on the market at the time. However, with last Friday’s summary affirmance, the Federal Circuit has upheld the district court’s ruling that Purdue’s patents were invalid as obvious.

Jake Holdreith, leader of the firm’s Health and Life Sciences Industry Group, argued on behalf of all defendants. Holdreith, along with Jeff Hovden, Oren Langer, and Miles Finn, represented Novel Laboratories. The case is Purdue Pharmaceutical v. Actavis Elizabeth LLC, case number 15-1659, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

See here for Law360’s coverage of the decision.