Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

Cook Biotech Inc., et al. v. ACell, Inc., et al.

Posted in Opinion Commentary by Jake Ward on August 23, 2006

Claim Construction Based on Definition in Patent Incorporated by Reference. 

(Fed. Cir. 2006, 05-1458)

At district court (N.D. Ind.), a jury found that ACell’s commercial product infringed U.S. Pat. No. 5,554,389 (the 389 patent) owned by Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) and licensed exclusively to Cook Biotech.  On appeal, the CAFC reversed the judgment of infringement upon finding that there was no material factual dispute that the ACell product infringes the 389 patent, literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.

The technology of the 389 patent is related to a tissue graft composition comprising bladder submucosal tissue that can be implanted to replace or support damaged or diseased tissues.  Such compositions are know as extracellular matrices or ECMs and are generally used as scaffolds for tissue reconstruction.  Dr. Spievack of ACell and Dr. Badylack of Purdue had discussed Dr. Badylack’s work on graft compositions at a conference in which he had presented.  Subsequently, the accused product was developed and related technology patented (in a number of patents the CAFC labeled as “Disputed Patents”) by ACell, notably following a rejected request for a license from Purdue. 

The issues on appeal are 1) whether ACell infringed the 389 patent, literally or under the doctrine of equivalents, 2) whether Dr. Badylack is also an inventor of the “Disputed Patents”, and 3) whether there was unjust enrichment for the research and inventions disclosed in the Disputed Patents? 

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They Invented What? (No. 13)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on August 23, 2006

U.S. Pat. No.6,637,447:  Beerbrella.

 beerbrella

We claim:

1. A combined beverage container and shading apparatus, comprising: a beverage container, for containing a beverage; a means for removably attaching the apparatus to the beverage container; a shaft, coupled to the means for removably attaching the apparatus, and extending vertically with respect to the beverage container; an umbrella, coupled to the shaft at a point above the means for removably attaching, so as to shade the beverage container, wherein the means for removably attaching comprises a clip provided to attach to the beverage container by means of spring action and friction.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the umbrella comprises a small umbrella approximately five to seven inches in diameter.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the umbrella comprises a small paper-like umbrella with balsa framing.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the umbrella comprises a solid plastic umbrella.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the umbrella comprises a cloth umbrella.

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