Medtronic's IP dispute against Axonics could resume in court after PTAB decisions - Mass Device

Yesterday, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office affirmed an additional three patents in a long-term dispute between the companies over intellectual property for Medtronic's Interstim sacral neuromodulation system, completing the review process initiated by Axonics to challenge the validity of the seven total patents in the case brought by Medtronic, according to a news release.

In a news release, Axonics noted that either party may appeal the IPR decisions to the Director of the Patent & Trademark Office and to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. "When one party suggests that another party is infringing, the other party often asks the PTAB to determine if the claims in the patents are actually valid. This is what Axonics has done and for Medtronic to claim 'victory' is purely posturing. The fact that the PTAB decided to invalidate several claims in Medtronic's '112 patent is a net positive for Axonics.

"Moreover, we believe the PTAB's narrow construction of the claims in the '758 patent and '148 patent strengthens our non-infringement argument. Axonics remains confident that it does not infringe any Medtronic patents - valid or invalid - and that we will ultimately prevail on the patent claims asserted against us.

On the third patent the PTAB invalidated four of the five claims that Axonics challenged. Axonics plans to appeal the PTAB's decisions on the claims it declined to invalidate, claiming in a news release that the decision relates only to the issue of invalidity or patentability of Medtronic's patents and does not mean that Axonics infringes on any of the patents in question.

The legal spat has been ongoing since November 2019 when Medtronic filed a lawsuit against Axonics in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleging infringements of four patents for Medtronic's SNM technologies indicated for bowel and bladder conditions.


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