Wolf Greenfield and Client BTG Reach Favorable Outcome in IPR for CroFab Rattlesnake Antivenom Patent

On December 10th, Wolf Greenfield convinced the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board not to institute an inter partes review (IPR2015-01305) on behalf of the firm's longtime client BTG International Inc., the manufacturer of CroFab® rattlesnake antivenom. CroFab® is protected by a BTG patent that Wolf Greenfield attorneys have worked to obtain and maintain since 1996. A petition for IPR was filed in May 2015 alleging that all claims of this patent were unpatentable. BTG turned to Wolf Greenfield's Post-Grant Proceedings Group, which successfully fought the petition—reinforcing the validity of a patent that has now survived two petitions for IPR and litigation in the International Trade Commission (ITC).

This outcome preserves BTG’s right under a settlement agreement regarding the ITC litigation to prevent a competitor antivenom product, which was approved by the FDA on May 6, 2015, from infringing BTG’s patent. The settlement allows the competitor to enter the U.S. market in October 2018 and entitles BTG to a single-digit royalty thereafter.

This is the latest in a string of victories for Wolf Greenfield’s Post-Grant Proceedings Group, whose record speaks for itself: Patent holders the firm represents have avoided an IPR trial 56% of the time, while patent holders overall avoid trial only 30% of the time.

To obtain U.S. Patent No. 8,048,414, Wolf Greenfield overcame numerous obstacles during the patent prosecution process, which involved multiple appeals to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences along with a further appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and a subsequent civil action filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Working closely with BTG and numerous experts, the firm ultimately secured this critical patent for BTG in November 2011.

Wolf Greenfield subsequently filed a complaint on behalf of BTG at the ITC in October 2013 alleging that several foreign biotechnology companies and their U.S. partners had begun to violate BTG’s hard-won patent rights by importing and selling snake antivenoms that infringed the ’414 patent. Wolf Greenfield reached a favorable settlement on behalf of BTG on the eve of trial in August 2014. Read more about the ITC litigation.

The Wolf Greenfield post-grant proceedings team that achieved this latest victory on behalf of BTG and its CroFab® patent included Michael Siekman, Larry Green, Nathan Speed, Oona Johnstone, and Stuart Duncan Smith.