Teva Pharmaceuticals is the world’s largest generic drug manufacturer and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialty medicines, including its patented Copaxone, a treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis. When generic rivals filed a certification with the FDA alleging that Teva’s patents were invalid, Teva turned to Goodwin to sue the generics and dispute the claim.
Goodwin represented Teva in the matter from the outset, winning in district court, defending the appeal before the Federal Circuit, persuading the Supreme Court to hear the case and securing a victory there. Goodwin argued that the appeals court should have deferred to the district judge, who had ruled in Teva’s favor but whose ruling was overturned by the Federal Circuit.
In a 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court sided with Teva and Goodwin. The ruling made it a landmark case, establishing that the Federal Circuit must be more deferential in reviewing aspects of how a district judge interprets a patent.