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Medical Devices / Regulatory Affairs / Commercial Operations

PTAB Sides With Minerva Surgical, Nixes Hologic Patent

Jan. 3, 2018

The PTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidated a Hologic patent on the use of its NovaSure endometrial ablation system in aninter partes review requested by Minerva Surgical.

Numerous predated patents — issued years before Hologic’s patent, No. 6,872,183, was granted in March 2005 — were entered as evidence, rendering all its claims “unpatentable,” the board said. These include two medical device patents from 1975 and 1999 that describe ablation methods and systems, the patent judges noted in a Dec. 15 final decision.

Despite Hologic’s argument that a decision to combine ideas from the two patents would not have been obvious, the judges agreed with Minerva that a trained professional “would have been motivated to…improve the safety of the ablation device” by doing so.

The substitute claims proposed by Hologic were also found to be unpatentable based on a preponderance of the evidence and prior art.

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