Cases & Deals

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

Clients Kyowa Hakko Kirin Company, Limited

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 a Japanese pharmaceutical company represented by Jones Day, Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd. ("KHK"). KHK competitors Aragen Bioscience, Inc. ("Aragen") and Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Transposagen") sought to challenge the validity of the patents by filing the 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.

Aragen Bioscience, Inc. v. Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd., No. IPR2017-01252 (P.T.A.B. Oct. 23, 2017); Aragen Bioscience, Inc. v. Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd., No. IPR2017-01262 (P.T.A.B. Oct. 23, 2017); Aragen Bioscience, Inc. v. Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd., No. IPR2017-01254 (P.T.A.B. Oct. 23, 2017)

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