It has been a bad couple of weeks for hedge fund manager Kyle Bass’s efforts to get pharmaceutical companies’ patents invalidated. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has denied three of the Coalition for Affordable Drugs’ petitions – two challenging patents covering Acorda’s Ampyra drug and one covering Biogen’s Tecfidera treatment.
Bass is not taking it lying down – he has slammed the Board and USPTO director Michelle Lee while continuing to file inter partes review petitions.
“It appears to me, after the Biogen ruling, that Michelle Lee and the US Patent and Trademark Office are running a kangaroo court,” Bass told Business Insider. He added that Lee should “stick to calling balls and strikes” instead of forwarding a political agenda.
He told the Wall Street Journal he would persist in his campaign. “I’ve spent years of my life working on this and my arguments are as good as can be. I think I can win if they’ll just hear the cases on the merits,” he said.
True to his word, he has filed nine more petitions since the Board issued its first denial of a Coalition for Affordable Drugs petition on August 24, bringing his total number of petitions to 32.
Pepper Hamilton, which represents Acorda and the University of Pennsylvania on various matters, noted the manner of the Board’s denials so far may have given Bass hope. “However, in each instance, the PTAB reached decisions on the merits of the hedge fund’s petitions. The fact that the PTAB considered the petitions and did not exercise its discretion to reject them outright based on the fund’s primary goal of depressing stock prices, was all the encouragement Bass needed,” said Pepper Hamilton partner Tom Engellenner.
According to Docket Navigator, the nine recent petitions comprised four more targeting Acorda patents, three targeting Insys Pharma patents and three targeting Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania patents.