Written Description Adequately Supports Claimed "Solvates" When Claim Scope Was Limited to Compound Structure and Process

Fed Cir affirms the district court's conclusion that the asserted claims were not invalid due to lack of written description. The patent relates to the chemical compound dutasteride, which is used for the treatment of androgen responsive diseases, and its pharmaceutically acceptable solvates.

GlaxoSmithKline LLC v. Banner Pharmacaps, Inc. et al., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Feb. 24, 2014) (O'Malley, Wallach, TARANTO) (D. Del.: Andrews) (2 of 5 stars)

While Defendants appealed both the claim construction of the term "solvates" and the district court's ruling on written description, the Fed Cir declined to resolve the claim construction dispute upon concluding that the patent adequately described "solvates" under either construction. Under each construction, "solvates" refers to a molecular complex defined by structure and the process by which it is created. The Fed Cir held that “the claim is no broader in scope than the written description” and that the patent sufficiently described both conditions by "identify[ing] certain structures produced by certain processes." Slip op. at 11. Notably, neither construction encompassed any functional limitation and, as such, nothing more was required to satisfy the written description requirement.