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Cert Petition in $593M Patent Case Faults Federal Circuit Claim Construction

Friday, October 4, 2013

Oct. 3 --A petition for writ of certiorari was filed in Saffran v. Johnson & Johnson ( U.S., No. 13-405, review sought 10/1/13), appealing a claim construction reversal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that overturned a $593 million award for stent patent infringement. Saffran v. Johnson & Johnson, 712 F.3d 549, 2013 BL 92083, 106 U.S.P.Q.2d 1274 (Fed. Cir. 2013).

The appeals court's decision featured three different opinions on how two different claim terms should be construed. The petition indicates that patentee Bruce N. Saffran asked the court to hold or reconsider his case in conjunction with its en banc rehearing in Lighting Ballast Control LLC v. Philips Elecs. North Am. Corp., No. 12-1014 (Fed. Cir., oral argument 9/13/13) , but the court rejected the request.

Two questions are presented in the petition:

1. Whether the Federal Circuit should have given deference to the district court's factual findings in construing the patent claims.

2. Whether the Federal Circuit erred in arbitrarily subjecting two similar, concurrently pending cases to potentially different standards of review.

David C. Frederick of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel PLLC, Washington, filed the brief on behalf of Saffran. Cordis Corp., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, was represented by Gregory L. Diskant of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, of New York, in the case before the Federal Circuit. The response is due Oct. 31.

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