St. Paul, Minn.-based Spineology sued Wright in early 2015, alleging infringement of several claims in a patent covering an expandable reamer designed to cut chambers within bone larger than the external opening into the chamber; Memphis-based Wright makes an expandable reamer called the X-Ream.
Judge Joan Ericksen of the U.S. District Court for Minnesota found in July 2017 that five of the claims were invalid on indefiniteness and that Wright did not infringe the two other claims, based on a claim construction established by Erickson. Spineology appealed to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which backed Wright in a July 5 ruling written by Judge Timothy Dyk.
“Because the court correctly construed ‘body’ and there is no infringement under this construction, we affirm the grant of summary judgment as to claims 33 and 34,” Dyk wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel. “Wright Medical agrees that we need not reach the issue of indefiniteness if we affirm the court’s construction of the term ‘body.’ This is so because all the claims found to be indefinite also include the ‘body’ limitation, and the parties agree that Wright Medical’s accused products do not infringe these claims under the construction of ‘body’ that we have adopted.”
The appeals court sent the case back to Ericksen with orders to vacate the invalidity judgment and enter judgment of non-infringement.