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IP: Federal Circuit's Ariad Decision Important to Patent Community

On March 22 the Federal Circuit issued its long anticipated en banc decision in Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Eli Lilly and Co. More than 20 amicus briefs filed demonstrated the case's importance to the patent community (see "Brief on Briefs"). So, what was so important, what was decided, what does it mean, and where are we going?

The questions posed in the rehearing en banc order were potentially fundamental and far-reaching: (1) whether 35 U.S.C. Section112 contains a written description requirement separate from an "enablement requirement," and (2) if a separate written description requirement is set forth in the statute, what is the scope and purpose of that requirement .

Allan Sternstein

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