BIO Asks Federal Court For Rehearing On Double Patenting Issue

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 16, 2000) -- The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for a rehearing on its August 9 decision in the case of Eli Lilly & Co. v. Barr Laboratories Inc.

BIO, which submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of Lilly's request for a rehearing, wants the appeals' court to clarify its ruling on the issue of double patenting. The judges' decision, BIO contends, conflicts with well-established court precedent and the longstanding practices of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) regarding this issue.

BIO''s brief takes no position on whether the court was correct inits decision, which invalidated one of Lilly's patent claims for the company's drug Prozac. BIO argues the Federal Circuit opinion, however, misstated the law of double patenting. Failure to grant a rehearing, BIO contends, will result in confusion among the U.S. district courts and among PTO examiners.

BIO''s brief is available on BIO's Web site ( inIssues and Policies under Intellectual Property.

BIO represents more than 900 companies, academic institutionsand state biotech centers in all 50 U.S. states and 27 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.