Thursday, October 29, 2015

St. Jude's win over Atlas IP vacated by CAFC

The win of ST. JUDE MEDICAL, of summary judgment of non-infringment in Southern District of Florida was vacated by the CAFC.

The CAFC noted its differences with the interpretation of the district court:

In Atlas v. Medtronic, we today hold that the starting
time and duration of the cycle and of remote-transmission
intervals within each cycle must be communicated by the
hub to the remotes before the time at which remotes may
begin transmitting. Here we hold, in agreement with
Atlas, that the claim language at issue does not require
that the cycle’s starting time and duration be communicated
to the remotes even earlier, i.e., before the communication
cycle begins. The district court’s contrary
conclusion, adopting St. Jude’s argument, rests at bottom
on the notion that, unless that information is sent before
the start of the cycle, the remotes would not be awake to
receive the hub-sent information about the cycle. J.A. 8
(“the remotes must know when to power up for the beginning
of the next communication cycle, or they would be
unable to receive the information frame” with the schedule
for the cycle). But the patent does not support that
premise or, therefore, the district court’s construction.

Nothing in the claim language requires that the hub
transmit information to the remotes about the starting
time of the communication cycle before the start of the
communication cycle. The claims recite that the hub
establishes repeating communication cycles and then
transmits information to the remotes to establish the
communication cycle and its intervals. ’734 patent, col.
48, lines 7–17 (claim 11); id., col. 49, lines 44–54 (claim
14). The claims also state that the remotes power off
their transmitters and receivers for times outside the
relevant interval. Id., col. 48, lines 22–25 (claim 11); id.,
col. 49, lines 59–62 (claim 14). Nowhere do the claims
indicate that the starting time of the communication cycle
is communicated in advance of that cycle.

Similarly, the claims do not require that the duration
of the communication cycle be sent in advance of the
communication cycle, and nothing in the intrinsic record
dictates that result. Other claim language positively
suggests, if it does not necessitate, that information about
the duration may be sent during the communication cycle.
Clause [g] of claim 14 itself recites that “the hub transmit[
s] a frame containing information describing the
length of the communication cycle prior to the end of the
communication cycle whose length is established.” Id.,
col. 49, lines 65–68 (emphasis added).1 Claim 33, which
also contains the transmitting clause [c], states that “the
hub transmit[s] a frame containing information to establish
a first interval in the communication cycle during
which the information establishing the communication
cycle . . . is transmitted.” Id., col. 53, lines 49–53.

The bottom line is "vacated and remanded"

We conclude that the district court erred in construing
the “transmitting” limitation to require that the starting
time and duration of a communication cycle be sent in
advance of the communication cycle. Because there is no
ruling about infringement under any other claim construction,
we vacate the summary judgment of noninfringement
and remand for further proceedings.

Note also: St. Jude Medical Inc., St. Jude Medical S.C. Inc. and Pacesetter Inc. v. Atlas IP LLC, IPR2014-00916.

***In the Florida action, St. Jude is a patent infringment defendant.

Elsewhere, it has been a plaintiff, for example against the University of Pennsylvania. From the Philadelphia Inquirer in January 2014:

Penn's T-cell therapy and its development deal are at the heart of the lawsuit that Juno Therapeutics has joined.

Juno, based in Seattle, is a partnership of Sloan-Kettering, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Seattle Children's Research Institute. Last month, Juno signed a licensing agreement to commercialize T-cell technology patented by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, according to legal papers.

The technology involves a "chimeric antigen receptor," or CAR - a synthetic genetic structure that programs the patient's T cells to target and attack cancer.

St. Jude is suing Penn, accusing the university of breaching an agreement to share St. Jude's CAR and infringing on St. Jude's patent.

On Dec. 18, a federal judge granted Juno permission to intervene in the lawsuit, which seeks financial compensation and an end to the patent infringement.

"The license agreement between Juno and St. Jude explicitly provides that Juno will 'control, pursue, and defend' the present case between St. Jude and Penn," attorneys for Juno wrote in legal papers.


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