Martek Biosciences v. Nutrinova

In the recent case of Martek Biosciences v. Nutrinova an expanded panel of five judges heard the appeal.  The audience at oral argument that day included visiting dignitaries from other countries and is the likely reason that an expanded panel was used.

An important issue in this case was whether  the claim term “animal” included humans.  The expanded panel produced a more “animated” oral argument than usual.  At one point Judge Rader remarked that his tennis playing would clearly categorize him as an animal while at another point Judge Gajarsa surmised that Judge Rader’s tennis playing was encompassed under the explicitly recited category of “swine.”  And, Judge Moore offered that Judge Rader was not a mammal because he lacked the ability to produce milk.  [Listen]  

Judges Lourie and Rader dissented from the majority opinion and asserted that the claim term “animal” did not include humans for the patent at issue.

You can listen to the entire oral argument [Here].

You can read the court’s opinion [Here].

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