In a precedential decision published Monday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) decision to invalidate a pharmaceutical patent owned by the University of Minnesota. Gilead Sciences filed an inter partes review (IPR) in 2017 challenging the claims of the university’s  U.S. Patent 8,815,830 as unpatentable. The ‘830 patent covers chemical compounds that prevent the reproduction of viruses or the growth of cancerous tumors. The PTAB found that the University of Minnesota failed to provide a sufficient written description that supported the patent’s priority claim. The Board thus concluded that the patent would not guide a skilled artisan to the patent’s claims. The CAFC agreed with the PTAB’s decision and with the ruling that a 2010 patent application publication filed by Gilead was “prior art” over the university’s patent.

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