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Konstantin Linnik Evaluates Challenges to Cabilly Patents in the Boston Business Journal

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Konstantin Linnik, Ph.D., a partner in Nutter's Intellectual Property Department and Life Sciences practice group, commented on how the Cabilly patents, which cover a key step in the antibody manufacturing process and date back more than 30 years, are being challenged through inter partes review (IPR) by Sanofi at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the Boston Business Journal. In the article, “Cabilly’s last stand: The newest challenge to biotech’s biggest patent,” Konstantin pointed out that no one knows yet just how big a deal it would be if the patents were struck down.

Konstantin, who recently authored a blog post on the subject, discussed how “only about 1 in 10 patents survives an IPR unscathed.” According to Konstantin, given that the patents are set to expire in less than two years, and the IPR process (plus court appeals) could take a year or so, it may only end up shaving a year or several months off the life of the patent. Furthermore, there are a couple potential ramifications of the IPR−one, that drug companies could take a gamble now that the patent will be found invalid and simply stop paying, and another less likely but feasible ramification−that companies may be waiting to launch new drugs in order to avoid paying royalty fees and could conceivably launch those products earlier if Cabilly is struck down.

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