Case Detail

Eli Lilly and Co. v. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc.
On May 16, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a one-sentence order declining to grant review in a case in which an appeals court panel invalidated a pharma¬ceutical patent on the grounds of “double patenting” (that is, the claims of a later-issued patent were deemed invalid because they allegedly were not patentably distinct from an earlier-issued patent). The decision was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief urging that review be granted. WLF argued that the appeals court decision (which struck down a patent covering use of a drug to treat cancer) represents a dramatic expansion of the double patenting doctrine. The judicially-created double patenting doctrine prevents a patentee from receiving two patents for one invention. But, WLF argued, when a second patent covers matter described in a prior patent, the second patent is still valid so long as the invention is patentably distinct from the invention claimed in the first patent.
Case Status:
Supreme Court Review denied.
More Information and Downloads:
2/28/2011: Download the Brief
9/8/2010: Download the Brief

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