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Kaken Pharmaceutical Co. v. Iancu

Consistent Use in Specification and Prosecution History Limits Claim Scope

Kaken Pharmaceutical Co. v. Iancu, __ F.3d __, 2020 WL 1222728 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 13, 2020) (Newman, O’Malley, TARANTO) (PTAB) (3 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir vacates IPR decision of obviousness as to all challenged claims. Kaken’s claims relate to the treatment of onychomyosis, a skin disorder affecting the nails, here deriving from fungal infection, with efinaconazole. The Board erred by determining that the broadest reasonable interpretation of Kaken’s claim did not reflect the core innovation, which was “a topical treatment that can easily penetrate the tough keratin in the nail plate.” Op. at 7. The opinion describes how the intrinsic record supported incorporating that concept into the claims, particularly statements during prosecution that “make clear the limits on a reasonable understanding of what Kaken was claiming.” Id. at 12.

KEYWORDS: INTER PARTES REVIEW; CLAIM CONSTRUCTION; BROADEST REASONABLE INTERPRETATION