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Chief Judge Stark recently was faced with a motion for final judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 58 following a jury verdict of induced infringement. The parties in the case agreed that the instruction given to the jury on inducement was erroneous in light of a related litigation between the same parties in which the Federal Circuit had ruled that the same instruction was erroneous. The patentee, Power Integrations, however, had not objected to the identical instruction in this case. Judge Stark, nonetheless, concluded that “in the unusual circumstances presented here its induced infringement instruction was plain error” and “it would be a manifest injustice . . . to uphold[ the] jury verdict.” Fairchild Semiconductor Corp., et al. v. Power Integrations, Inc., C.A. No. 12-540-LPS, Memo. Op. at 1-11 (D. Del. Mar. 16, 2018). Moreover, because “the Court [had] already determined that the jury instruction on active inducement was plain error that was prejudicial to Fairchild, resulting in a miscarriage of justice . . . [and] the Court [did] not believe it is highly probable that the error did not contribute to the judgment . . . [the Court therefore] order[ed] a new jury trial on the issues of induced infringement of the ’359 patent and damages.” Id. at 11-13.

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In December 2016, a Delaware jury found that Gilead had failed to prove the asserted patent in this case was invalid and awarded damages of $2.54 billion. But Chief Judge Stark has now granted Gilead’s motion for judgment as a matter of law that the asserted claims are not enabled. Although Gilead also moved for JMOL or a new trial with respect to damages, Judge Stark denied that motion and a motion arguing that the asserted patent failed the written description requirement. Instead, Judge Stark found that because “the Structural Limitations [of the asserted claims] are satisfied by such a large number of compounds . . . the amount of experimentation to refine this broad set of compounds to those that also satisfy the Functional Limitations [of the asserted claims], given the limited teachings on this point in the patent and the state of the prior art, is an ‘undue’ amount. Thus, the only conclusion that can be reached based on the trial record is that the asserted claims . . . are invalid for lack of enablement.”Idenix Pharmaceuticals LLC, et al. v. Gilead Sciences, Inc., C.A. No. 14-846-LPS, Op. at 45-46 (D. Del. Feb. 16, 2018).

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