Baxter Loses Bid To Have Patent Declared Invalid for Indefiniteness
Talecris sued Baxter for patent infringement, and Baxter counterclaimed for a declaratory judgment of noninfringement and invalidity. In this opinion, Judge Sleet denied Baxter's motion for summary judgment that the patent at issue is invalid for indefiniteness and granted (sua sponte) summary judgment that the patent is not indefinite.
Baxter asserted that three separate claim terms were indefinite: 1) "acceptable level suitable for intravenous administration," 2) "increased level of anticomplement activity," and 3) "then incubating the solution of step a"/"the increased anticomplement activity of the solution." Op. at 4. However, most of the opinion focused on the first claim term, which included the phrase "acceptable level." With regard to this first claim term, the court held that "the record reflects that the phrase has meaning to those of ordinary skill in the art, albeit the determination of that meaning may depend on a number of variables, and the ultimate determination of acceptability may be temporally distant from the time in which the inventive steps of the claim are performed." Op. at 8. Baxter's arguments as to the other claim terms were dismissed by the court as a rehashing of claim construction arguments. Op. at 9.
Despite Talecris' arguments in its briefs that disputes of material fact existed so as to preclude summary judgment, the Court found no genuine issues of material fact existed. Thus, even though Talecris did not cross-move for summary judgment in its favor on the issue of indefiniteness, the Court, sua sponte, granted summary judgment in its favor, removing the indefiniteness issue from the trial to come.