Published 04/22/2022 by CIONCA IP TEAM (SE)
IGEN International, Inc. (“IGEN”) owned patents for an electrochemiluminescence technology (ECL), the ownership of which later became that of Bioveris Corporation (“Bioveris”). In 1992, IGEN entered a license agreement to sell, develop and manufacture ECL instruments with Boehringer Mannheim GmbH (“Boehringer”).
Roche Diagnostics Corporation (“The 1st Appellant”) purchased Boehringer in 1998. Thereby becoming the licensee under the 1992 license agreement.
At the same time, IGEN’s CEO’s son was researching multi-array methodologies in Meso Scale Technologies (“MST”). In 1995, IGEN and MST signed a joint venture agreement, forming Meso Scale Diagnostics, LLC (“The Respondent”).
In 2003, IGEN executed a new license agreement with the 1st Appellant, giving it a non-exclusive license to its technologies in specific fields. Also, IGEN’s patent and ownership interest in the Respondent’s joint venture was transferred to Bioveris.
In 2007, the 1st Appellant acquired Bioveris and its over 100 patents. In 2010, the Respondent instituted an action against the Appellant at the Delaware Court of Chancery (“The Court of Chancery”).
The Court of Chancery held that since the Respondent consented to the 2003 license agreement, it could not enforce such. In addition, only Bioveris could enforce the 2003 license agreement against the Appellant for sales outside the specific fields.
In 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Chancery’s decision. In 2017, the Appellant filed an action at the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (“The District Court”).
The Appellant sought a declaration confirming that it did not infringe the Respondent’s licensing rights in the patented diagnostics detection technology, ECL. The Respondent counterclaimed that there was a patent infringement and breach of the 1995 license between it and IGEN.
The District Court found that the Respondent has an exclusive license to the asserted patent claims. Therefore, the Appellant was said to have directly infringed on claim 33 of U.S Patent No.6,808,939.
The District Court found the infringement willful and awarded the sum of $137,500,000 against the Appellant as infringement damages. However, the Respondent’s motion for enhanced damages was denied, among several other motions.
Both parties appealed to the United States Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit (“The Federal Circuit”). The Federal Circuit affirmed the decision in part, reversed and vacated it in part and remanded it.
According to the majority opinion of the Federal Circuit, the decision of the District Court that the Appellant directly infringed the Respondent’s patent was affirmed. However, the Federal Circuit reversed the Appellant’s liability for induced infringement because there was no intent and inducing act.
The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the Appellant’s liability for damages as held by the District Court. However, the Federal Court opined that a new damages trial should be conducted since the Appellant was not liable for induced infringement.
On the Respondent’s cross-appeal, the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded that a new trial should be conducted on the three patents the Respondent did not assert compulsory counterclaims.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed throughout this blog are the views and opinions of the individual author(s) and/or contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of our firm, CIONCA IP Law. P.C.
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