SW Legal Educational Publishing

No Damages for Infringing a Patent that Fails for Obviousness
Description Richardson-Vicks marketed several medicines under a patent that combined two common ingredients. Other companies that marketed medicines combining the same ingredients were sued by Richardson-Vicks for infringement. Appeals Court affirmed patent invalid for obviousness.
Topic Intellectual Property
Key Words Patent, Obviousness, Infringement
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Richardson-Vicks (RV) owns a patent on an over-the-counter medications sold for the relief of cough, cold, and flu symptoms that combine the analgesic ibuprofen and the decongestant pseudoephedrine. Upjohn, McNeil, and Johnson & Johnson sell OTC medicines which contain the same ingredients in similar ratios. RV sued for infringement. The judge granted RV's motion for judgment of infringement as a matter of law. The jury determined that the patent was valid and held that defendants should pay RV a royalty of seven percent on infringing sales. The judge then overturned the jury verdict and held that as a matter of law there was not sufficient evidence for the jury to hold the patent valid due to obviousness and prior invention. RV appealed.
Decision Affirmed. Medication that combines ibuprofen and pseudoephedrine is invalid for obviousness in view of the prior art. Patent is invalid.
Citation Richardson-Vicks Inc. v. Upjohn Co., ---F.3d--- (1997 WL 605156, Fed. Cir.)
122 F.3d 1476 (Fed. Cir., 1997)

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