KFx Medical won a pair of decisions in a patent infringement lawsuit against Arthrex over technology used to attach soft tissue to bone.
Judge Dana Sabraw of the U.S. District Court for Southern California shot down an Arthrex bid to have the 3 patents for a "System and Method for Attaching Soft Tissue to Bone" declared invalid and granted KFx’s motion to toss claims that it misled a U.S. Patent & Trademark Office examiner, according to court documents.
KFx sued Arthrex in August 2011, alleging infringement of the patents by Arthrex’s SutureBridge and SpeedBridge devices for rotator cuff repair and Achilles tendon repair, according to the documents. Arthrex moved to have the patents declared invalid, arguing that the KFx lawyer who prosecuted the patents sought to deceive the USPTO’s examiner. The lawyer, Ryan Melnick, failed to let the examiner know about an interview KFX president & CEO Tate Scott gave that referred to the patents, Arthrex alleged.
But KFx asked the patent office to consider the interview as part of its review, Sabraw wrote, although the USPTO declined to review the interview.
"Defendant’s assertion that Mr. Melnick failed to inform the Examiner that the PTO refused to consider the Scott Statement is, therefore, not supported by the evidence," he wrote.
Arthrex also claimed that KFx sought to change the priority date on the patents to June 2, 2004, rather than June 5, 2005. But Sabraw found no evidence of the alleged deception, observing that it’s the patent examiner who sets the priority date.
"In the absence of any evidence to support this argument, the Court grants Plaintiff’s motion as to this allegation of inequitable conduct, as well," the judge wrote.
Sabraw also ruled against Arthrex’s claim that the KFx patents are invalid because a person skilled in the art would have found them obvious, finding that Arthrex’s "argument is based on a premise that is not supported by the record," according to the documents.
"We are pleased with our continued progress in the case and look forward to resolution during the trial in August, 2013," Scott said in prepared remarks.