Flash Chromatography Case Stayed

Scott Daniels | November 10, 2009

Scientific Plastic Products’ case against Biotage has been stayed pending the PTO’s resolution of inter partes reexaminations for the patents-in-suit.

On April 3, 2009, Scientific Plastics sued Biotage, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,138,061, 7,381,327 and 7,410,571 regarding low pressure flash chromatographic cartridges. Biotage replied on August 21 by filing reexamination requests against each of the three patents and three days later, moved to stay the case. Judge Anello granted the stay on October 6.

The PTO has now acted on two of the three requests. It ordered reexamination of the ‘327 patent, finding that there were 10 substantial new questions of patentability (SNQs). The primary reference relied upon in the request, the Yamada patent, had been cited in the original ‘327 prosecution. The PTO simultaneously ordered reexamination of the ‘061 patent and issued an Office Action making 12 rejections, again relying primarily upon Yamada.

The PTO has not yet acted on the request for reexamination of the ‘571 patent, though the patentability arguments appear to be similar to those for the ‘327 and ‘061 patents. The PTO must act by November 21.

The case illustrates the remarkable speed with which an accused infringer can shift the venue from the District Court to the PTO.

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