Authored by Michelle Carniaux and Michael E. Sander
In what now seems to be part of a trend, two new petitions for inter partes review were recently filed by what appear to be hedge funds and financiers targeting patents owned by large pharmaceutical companies. Last week, Ferrum Ferro Capital, LLC (“Ferrum”) filed a petition for inter partes review against a single claim of a patent owned by Allergan Sales, LLC (“Allergan”). See IPR2015-00858, No. 1 Petition (P.T.A.B. Mar. 9, 2015). The claim at issue relates to the treatment of glaucoma by administering two known active ingredients, timolol and brimonidine, in a single composition. The claim previously survived a lengthy litigation against generic drug manufacturer, Sandoz, Inc. Eventually, the Federal Circuit agreed with the district court that Sandoz had not proven that the claim was invalid as obvious. See Allergan, Inc. v. Sandoz Inc., 11-1619 (Fed. Cir. May. 1, 2013).