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Testing the Doctrine of Equivalents' Chemical Patent Context

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has decided numerous life sciences cases addressing infringement under the doctrine of equivalents in a variety of contexts, from formulation to method of treatment claims.

However, these cases provide little insight with respect to application of the doctrine to pharmaceutical or chemical compounds. Historically, surprisingly few cases have addressed this issue. Compound claims tend to be less susceptible to validity challenges than claims covering other types of subject matter concerning pharmaceutical inventions. Thus, compound patents are more valuable to patent owners and of greater concern in freedom-to-operate analyses.
In this Law360 article written by Mark E. Waddell, co-chair of the Life Sciences department and chair of the Patent Litigation & Counseling practice, Patent Litigation partner Ryan Hagglund and associate Dan Liu, the authors address the application of the doctrine of equivalents in the context of patents and patent claim elements directed to chemical compounds and provide practical tips and strategic considerations on how to evaluate equivalence in that context.

Read the full article on Law360’s website (subscription required).