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Kyowa Hakko Kirin defeats competitors in Patent Trial and Appeal Board challenge of patents on antibody technology

Kyowa Hakko Kirin defeats competitors in Patent Trial and Appeal Board challenge of patents on antibody technology

On October 23, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a trio of decisions, unanimously declining to institute inter partes review (IPR) of three patents owned by Japanese pharmaceutical company Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd. (KHK).  KHK competitors Aragen Bioscience, Inc. (Aragen) and Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (Transposagen) filed the unsuccessful petitions for IPR shortly after KHK and its U.S. subsidiary BioWa filed suit in district court against Aragen and Transposagen for their willful infringement of the three patents covering cell lines genetically engineered to produce antibodies that function 100 times more effectively than their naturally-occurring counterparts.

In denying each of Aragen and Transposagen's petitions for IPR, on all asserted grounds, the PTAB determined that the petitioners had "not shown a reasonable likelihood that [they] would prevail in showing the unpatentability of at least one challenged claim."  In so finding, the PTAB determined that Aragen and Transposagen’s arguments that the challenged claims were obvious in light of various combinations of prior art references were "not . . . persuasive."  Instead, the cited prior art either taught away from the patented invention or lacked key elements of the invention.

KHK and BioWa are represented in both the PTAB proceedings and the district court litigation by a global Jones Day team consisting of Anthony Insogna, Christian PlattAstrid Spain (all of San Diego), Shogo Asaji (Tokyo), Jacqueline Lee and Bing Liang (both of Silicon Valley), and Tom Koglman (Cleveland).

These three decisions are the most recent in a string of successful outcomes in 2017 for Jones Day in PTAB matters where the Firm has successfully defended patent owners against IPR petitions, bringing the Firm’s record in blocking institution of inter partes review trials on patents relating to antibodies and antibody-related technologies to 7-0 in 2017. In September, Jones Day defended AbbVie Inc. in connection with four (4) separate IPR petitions brought by Coherus Biosciences, Inc. against U.S. Patent No. 9,085,619, which is related to formulations for AbbVie's blockbuster antibody therapeutic, HUMIRA®. The PTAB denied institution of each of Coherus' IPR petitions with regard to all of the challenged claims. Those decisions came on the heels of Jones Day’s 2016 successful defense of AbbVie in two IPRs brought by Amgen in connection with U.S. Patent Nos. 8,916,157 and 8,916,158, also related to HUMIRA®. Following filing of the Patent Owner's Preliminary Responses by AbbVie, the PTAB denied institution of both IPRs. AbbVie is represented in the PTAB proceedings by Jones Day’s intellectual property team, including Anthony M. Insogna, Tamera M. Weisser Ph.D.Patrick Elsevier, Ph.D., Christian Platt (all of San Diego) and David M. Maiorana (Cleveland).

Jones Day is a global law firm with more than 2,500 lawyers in 43 offices across five continents. The Firm is distinguished by: a singular tradition of client service; the mutual commitment to, and the seamless collaboration of, a true partnership; formidable legal talent across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions; and shared professional values that focus on client needs.

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