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Medical Devices / Commercial Operations

Nuvasive Loses Pitch to Ditch Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Jan. 17, 2014
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A federal court Tuesday denied Nuvasive’s motion to dismiss a patent infringement case against its orthopedic cervical reconstruction system, Helix ACP. The decision allows Charlotte, N.C., devicemaker AngleFix Tech LLC to proceed with its lawsuit.

AngleFix filed a complaint against Nuvasive in April 2013, alleging the latter had violated its ‘677 patent for the multi-angular fastening apparatus and method for surgical bone screw/plate systems. Nuvasive responded in July, seeking a declaratory judgment of noninfringement and the invalidity and unenforceability of the ’677 patent. The case boiled down to the definition of “thread.” AngleFix maintains that an external thread on the head region of Nuvasive’s bone screw violated its patent, while Nuvasive contends the ’677 patent does not have an external thread.

In a Jan. 14 court order, the southern California district court said Nuvasive’s claim that the ‘677 patent has no external thread would require the court to go back and construct the claim.

“The question of whether each claim requires a screw with an external thread is clearly in dispute, and will require proper claim construction. This Court will not engage in claim construction at this stage,” the court said. — Lena Freund

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