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UCB Inc. v. Zydus Worldwide DMCC

United States District Court, D. Delaware

June 1, 2018

UCB, INC., UCB MANUFACTURING IRELAND LIMITED, UCM PHARMA GMBH and LTS LOHMANN THERAPIE-STSTEME AG, Plaintiffs,
v.
ZYDUS WORLDWIDE DMCC and CADILA HEALTHCARE LTD, d/b/a/ ZYDUS CADILA, Defendants.

          Jack B. Blumenfeld, Maryellen Noreika, Derek J. Fahnestock, Eleanor G. Tennyson, MORRIS, NICHOLS, ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE

          James S. Trainor, Jr., Kevin X. McGann, Silvia Medina, WHITE & CASE LLP, New York, NY

          Peter C. Richardson, Traci Medford-Rosow, RICHARSON & ROSOW LLC, New York, NY Attorneys for Plaintiffs

          John C. Phillips, Jr., Megan C. Haney, David A. Bilson, PHILLIPS GOLDMAN MCLAUGHLIN & HALL, P.A., Wilmington, DE

          Michael J. Gaertner, James T. Peterka, Andy J. Miller, Nina Vachhani, Jennifer M. Coronel, LOCKE LORD LLP, Chicago, IL

          Andrea L. Wayda, Paul B. Sudentas, LOCKE LORD LLP, New York, NY Attorneys for Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          STARK, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiffs UCB, Inc., UCB Manufacturing Ireland, Limited, UCB Pharma GmbH, and LTS Lohmann Therapie-Systeme AG (collectively, "Plaintiffs" or "UCB") filed suit against Defendants Zydus Worldwide DMCC and Cadila Healthcare Ltd., d/b/a Zydus Cadila (collectively, "Defendants" or "Zydus"), alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6, 884, 434, 8, 617, 591, and 8, 246, 979.

         Presently before the Court is the issue of claim construction. Lhe parties dispute only one term appearing in the '434 patent. Lhe '434 patent describes and claims transdermal therapeutic systems to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease. See '434 Patent at 1:9-27.

         The parties submitted briefs (see D.I. 96, 99, 105, 107) and the Court held a claim construction hearing on April 5, 2018. (See D.I. 127 ("Tr."))[1]

         I. LEGAL STANDARDS

         The ultimate question of the proper construction of a patent is a question of law. See Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S.Ct. 831, 837 (2015) (citing Markman v. Weshiew Instruments, Inc., 517 U.S. 370, 388-91 (1996)). "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) (internal quotation marks omitted). "[T]here is no magic formula or catechism for conducting claim construction." Id. at 1324. Instead, the court is free to attach the appropriate weight to appropriate sources "in light of the statutes and policies that inform patent law." Id.

         "[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 (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). "[T]he ordinary meaning of a claim term is its meaning to the ordinary artisan after reading the entire patent." Id. at 1321 (internal quotation marks omitted). The patent 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." Vitronics Corp. v. Conceptronic, Inc., 90 F.3d 1576, 1582 (Fed. Cir. 1996).

         While "the claims themselves provide substantial guidance as to the meaning of particular claim terms, " the context of the surrounding words of the claim must also be considered. Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1314. Furthermore, "[o]ther claims of the patent in question, both asserted and unasserted, can also be valuable sources of enlightenment. . . [b]ecause claim terms are ...


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