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The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s holding that defendant Sandoz had not proven obviousness by clear and convincing evidence.  The court agreed with the district court’s broad framing of the problem of the obviousness question (proposed by the plaintiff) as the development of “a topical ophthalmic formulation containing azithromycin” and rejected defendants’ narrower framing of whether “topical azithromycin could be used to treat conjunctivitis.”  The court rejected Sandoz’s argument that the broader framing would require Sandoz to prove obviousness of all manner of eye infections and not merely conjunctivitis.  The claims were not limited to the cure of conjunctivitis and Sandoz could have proven obviousness with that one infection, but it could not carry that burden, as the court also detailed.

Insite Vision Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., Case No. 2014-1065 (April 9, 2015); Opinion by: Linn, joined by Prost and Newman; Appealed From: District Court for the District of New Jersey, Cooper, J. Read the full opinion here.

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