Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Acella and Everett Reach Agreement, Ending Patent Disputes

Case Filed: Jun 05, 2013

Case Closed: Apr 02, 2014

Court: New Jersey District Court

Judge: Joseph E. Irenas

Case Summary:
New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company, Everett Laboratories filed a patent infringement suit against Acella Pharmaceuticals claiming that their patent US8197855 was infringed. The cause of the suit was Acella’s manufacturing of prescription-only, prenatal nutritional supplement "Choice-OB+DHA," which Everett claimed to be a willful exact copy of their "Select-OB®+DHA", prenatal nutritional supplement. 

Everett further claimed that, according to its package insert, Choice-OB+DHA contains the same vitamins and minerals, in the same amounts, as Everett's Select-OB®+DHA and hence directly infringed claims 1, 4-13 and 15-18 of the '855 patent.  The ‘855 patent entitled ‘Compositions and methods for nutrition supplementation’ was issued on Jun 12, 2012 and expires[1] by Aug 12, 2024. Everett is the current assignee[2] of the patent (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database).

The action sought redress for Acella's deliberate and willful infringement of the ‘855 patent through manufacture of the nutritional supplement product Choice-OB+DHA, before the expiration of the '855 patent covering the caplet component of Select-OB®+DHA. Everett’s chewable caplet is a combination of vitamin, mineral and omega-3 fatty acid and provides vitamins and minerals to the body to help meet nutritional requirements.

According to the complaint, the infringing product embodies the claimed invention and Everett faces substantial and irreparable harm as a result of Acella's infringing sales of its Choice-OB+DHA product. The lawsuit asked for damages plus interest for infringement, as well as a permanent injunction on Acella's infringing products.

A few other Everett vs. Acella cases were consolidated in which 6 other patents: US6814983, US7390509, US6863904, US8183227, US8609629 and US8617617 were asserted and alleged nutritional supplemental products including PNV-First, PNV-OB with DHA and Choice-Tabs as infringing.

The disputes have been settled as the parties have voluntarily entered into a written settlement agreement, effective Mar 21. Accordingly, Court signed off consent judgment and permanent injunction in favor of Everett against Acella and declared the patents-in-suit valid. 

See 1:13-cv-03487 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

Max-Insight enables you to access all of our patent tools such as Patent Term Estimator, Patent Family Tree, Has This Patent Been Litigated, etc. in one location. Max-Insight is available in 4 different subscriptions: FreeBronzeSilver and Gold with varying usage levels. To learn more about Max-Insight, click here.

[1] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents. 
[2] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.

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