By Brad Perriello
A federal appeals court deals a blow to Medtronic when it upholds the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s decision to validate a patent held by NuVasive.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTO’s Patent Trial & Appeal Board’s validity ruling without comment, according to court records. Medtronic asked the PTO for an inter partes review of patent no. 7,582,058, “Surgical access system and related method,” back in 2009.
On appeal to the Federal Circuit, Medtronic argued that the PTO’s Patent Trial & Appeal Board broadened the patent during the validity battle with NuVasive, which took a re-examination and 2 hearings over the past 3 years. Although the board initially found for Medtronic’s broadness claim during the 1st hearing, it reversed itself during the 2nd hearing last year.
NuVasive argued that the appeals bench should affirm the PTAB and uphold the patent’s standing.
In another facet of the long-running legal battle with NuVasive, the same appeals court on March 2 overturned a lost profits award to Medtronic, ruling that a lower court erred in 2011 when it awarded Medtronic $101.2 million in the case and ordering a new trial to determine the correct amount.