NuVasive Inc. (NSDQ:NUVA) this week won a round in its long-standing intellectual property feud with Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) when a federal judge in California found that a patent covering NuVasive’s Osteocel Plus bone matrix does not infringe Medtronic’s IP.
Medtronic’s Warsaw unit sued NuVasive in August 2012 in the U.S. District Court for Southern California, alleging that the OsteoCel Plus matrix infringes its ‘146 patent cover a “Surgical implant containing a resorbable radiopaque marker and method of locating such within a body.”
The Feb. 17 ruling by Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo hinged on a claim limitation for “uniform distribution or substantially uniform admixture to provide a [radioopaque] marker,” according to court documents. Bencivengo found that Warsaw’s reliance on NuVasive’s marketing materials for OsteoCel Plus wasn’t sufficient to show that it requires even mixing.
“The court finds that no reasonable jury can conclude on the evidence presented by Warsaw in opposition to NuVasive’s motion for summary judgment that Osteocel Plus meets the claim limitation of uniformly distributed within or in substantially uniform admixture,” the judge wrote [emphasis hers].
Last October Medtronic won a round in the case when Bencivengo found that NuVasive failed to prove its claims about a surgical dilator patent covering Warsaw’s 16mm NIM-Eclipse direct lateral dilator.
Medtronic and NuVasive are no strangers in the courtroom, having a waged a years-long legal battle over a variety of patents covering spine implant technology. Last July Medtronic asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court’s decision upholding a NuVasive win.