NuVasive (NSDQ:NUVA) won a court order transferring to California a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Medtronic (NYSE:MDT), where the case can proceed alongside a similar lawsuit already pending there.
Indiana District Court Judge Christopher Nuechterlein granted NuVasive’s motion for a transfer, agreeing with the spinal devices maker that it would "be in the interest of justice and more convenient for the parties and witnesses" for the pair of cases to pass through the same court.
The transferring lawsuit, filed by Medtronic in August and joined by orthopedic device makers Warsaw Orthopedic and Osteotech, will move to the Southern District of California to join a separate patent lawsuit involving similar technology but different patents.
NuVasive has vowed to "vigorously" defend itself against the allegations in the latest lawsuit, in which Medtronic claims NuVasive’s CoRoent spinal implants and Osteocel Plus bone grafts infringed patents owned by Warsaw Orthopedic and Osteotech which were exclusively licensed to Medtronic.
"NuVasive is assessing all offensive and defensive measures available to it, including the assertion of counterclaims and the use of administrative reexamination procedures available through the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office," according to a company statement issued in August.
Medtronic and NuVasive have a long history of fighting over spinal device patents.
Medtronic earlier this year touted a win after a California judge ruled against NuVasive’s claim that Medtronic inventor Dr. Gary Michelson and his cadre of agents had withheld relevant articles, misrepresented the state of prior art and changed the priority date on a contentious patent.
The 2 medical device makers are also still embroiled in another patent battle in which Medtronic was ordered to pay $10 million in back royalties for guidance catheters that an Oklahoma jury decided willfully infringed on NuVasive’s patents.