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Indivior Inc. v. Mylan Technologies Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

January 12, 2017


          Daniel M. Attaway, Esq., WOMBLE CARLYLE SANDRIDGE & RICE, LLP, Wilmington, Delaware; Daniel A. Ladow, Esq. (argued), J. Magnus Essunger, Esq., TROUTMAN SANDERS LLP, Atlanta, Georgia; Jeffrey B. Elikan, Esq., COVINGTON & BURLING LLP, Washington. D.C.; Cassandra A. Adams, Esq., STEPTOE & JOHNSON LLP, New York, New York. Attorneys for Plaintiffs.

          Bindu A. Palapura, Esq., POTTER ANDERSON & CORROON LLP, Wilmington, Delaware; David M. Hanna, Esq., WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI, San Francisco, California. Elham Firouzi Steiner, Esq. (argued), WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI, San Diego, California. Attorneys for Defendant.



         Presently before me is the issue of claim construction of multiple terms in U.S. Patent No. 8, 603, 514 (the '"514 Patent"), U.S. Patent No. 8, 475, 832 (the '"832 Patent"), U.S. Patent No. 8, 017, 150 (the '"150 Patent"), and U.S. Patent No. 8, 900, 497 (the '"497 Patent"). I have considered the parties' Joint Claim Construction Brief. (D.I. 75). I have issued two relevant orders since the filing of that brief: the Stipulation Regarding Amended Joint Claim Constructions (D.I. 82) and the Consent Decree and Final Judgment Regarding the '832 Patent (D.I. 83), which resolve disputes as to several terms. I held oral argument on December 16, 2016. ("Tr.").


         "It is a bedrock principle of patent law that the claims of a patent define the invention to which the patentee is entitled the right to exclude." Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1312 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc) (internal quotation marks omitted). '" [T]here is no magic formula or catechism for conducting claim construction.' Instead, the court is free to attach the appropriate weight to appropriate sources 'in light of the statutes and policies that inform patent law.'" SoftView LLC v. Apple Inc., 2013 WL 4758195, at *1 (D. Del. Sept. 4, 2013) (quoting Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1324) (alteration in original). When construing patent claims, a court considers the literal language of the claim, the patent specification, and the prosecution history. Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967, 977-80 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (en banc), aff'd, 517 U.S. 370 (1996). Of these sources, "the specification is always highly relevant to the claim construction analysis. Usually, it is dispositive; it is the single best guide to the meaning of a disputed term." Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1315 (internal quotation marks omitted).

         "[T]he words of a claim are generally given their ordinary and customary meaning.... [Which is] the meaning that the term would have to a person of ordinary skill in the art in question at the time of the invention, i.e., as of the effective filing date of the patent application." Id. at 1312-13 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). "[T]he ordinary meaning of a claim term is its meaning to [an] ordinary artisan after reading the entire patent." Id. at 1321 (internal quotation marks omitted). "In some cases, the ordinary meaning of claim language as understood by a person of skill in the art may be readily apparent even to lay judges, and claim construction in such cases involves little more than the application of the widely accepted meaning of commonly understood words." Id. at 1314.

         When a court relies solely upon the intrinsic evidence-the patent claims, the specification, and the prosecution history-the court's construction is a determination of law. See Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S.Ct. 831, 841 (2015). The court may also make factual findings based upon consideration of extrinsic evidence, which "consists of all evidence external to the patent and prosecution history, including expert and inventor testimony, dictionaries, and learned treatises." Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1317-19. Extrinsic evidence may assist the court in understanding the underlying technology, the meaning of terms to one skilled in the art, and how the invention works. Id. Extrinsic evidence, however, is less reliable and less useful in claim construction than the patent and its prosecution history. Id.

         "A claim construction is persuasive, not because it follows a certain rule, but because it defines terms in the context of the whole patent." Renishaw PLC v. Marposs Societa' per Azioni, 158 F.3d 1243, 1250 (Fed. Cir. 1998). It follows that "a claim interpretation that would exclude the inventor's device is rarely the correct interpretation." Osram GMBH v. Int'l Trade Comm'n, 505 F.3d 1351, 1358 (Fed. Cir. 2007) (citation omitted).


         The parties agree to, and I adopt, the following construction of "rapidly" (claim 1 of the '497 patent): plain and ordinary meaning. (D.I. 75 at p. 2).


         1. "further drying said visco-elastic film to form a self-supporting edible film having a substantially uniform distribution of said at least one active component (claim 1 of the '497 patent)

         a. Plaintiffs 'proposed construction: the term should be given its plain and ordinary meaning b. Defendants' modified proposed construction: further drying said visco-elastic film through a separate and distinct drying step to form a self-supporting edible film having a ...

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