On 26 August 2021, a U.S. appeals court reversed a $1.2 billion ruling against the defendant Gilead Sciences after finding that the plaintiff’s patent was invalid because it lacked sufficient descriptions and details, in a blow to the plaintiff’s corporate owner, Bristol Myers.
The dispute arose from a cancer treatment patent. The treatment known as chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, or CAR-T, reprograms the body’s own immune cells to recognize and attack malignant cells.
Bristol Myers claimed infringement against Gilead Sciences based on a patent owned by its subsidiary Juno and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (“Juno Patent”). A jury in 2019 found infringement against Gilead Sciences and the District judge awarded $1.2 billion in damages.
However, a three-judge panel reversed the previous decision unanimously and held that the Juno Patent was invalid because it lacked a sufficient written description and details. In oral argument, Judge Moore compared the Juno Patent’s description to trying to identify a specific car by saying it has four wheels.
For more details on the decision, read here.