Spine

Medtronic asks Supremes to review loss to NuVasive

By Brad Perriello

Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) this month asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court’s decision upholding a patent infringement win for longtime spinal implant rival NuVasive Inc. (NSDQ:NUVA).

In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld without comment a U.S. Patent & Trademark Office decision that a NuVasive patent covering its is valid. Medtronic had 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 had argued that the appeals bench should affirm the PTAB and uphold the patent’s standing, leaving intact a prior ruling of indirect infringement against Medtronic, on the grounds that it knew of NuVasive’s patent and instructed doctors to use its NIM-Eclipse device in a way that was later found to be infringing.

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