Millennium Pharmaceuticals v. Sandoz: When Inherency Does Not Mean Obvious

Jennifer T. Nguyen and Preston K. Ratliff II

©2018. Published in Landslide, Vol. 10, No. 3, January/February 2018, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Is the natural result of a known process considered inherently obvious? Patent practitioners might quickly jump to the conclusion that any natural result of an arguably known and/or obvious process is itself inherently obvious and unpatentable. The Federal Circuit’s ruling in Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Sandoz this past summer, however, demonstrates this is not always the case.1

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