Misc. Docket No. 854 (in re Roche Molecular Sys.) (Fed. Cir. 2008)
Stanford sued Roche for infringement of its patented method of monitoring and treating HIV/AIDS. Roche argued that it actually held license to the patents. However, ND Cal District Court Judge Patel denied Roche’s motion for summary judgment on the licensing issue and instead held those claims barred by a statute of limitations.
Roche demanded a writ of mandamus – but was denied. The majority panel noted the extra special nature of mandamus appeals: noting that neither “reversible error”, “hardship, inconvenience, [nor] an unusually complex trial” provide a basis for mandamus. Here, the court found that Roche could not prove the necessary indisputable “right” to the writ and thus must wait until a final decision for its appeal.
Judge Newman dissented — arguing that the number of serious errors made by the district court level should not be overlooked.