The U.S. Trademark & Patent Office declined a request by St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) to review a Volcano (NSDQ:VOLC) patent in the medical device companies’ long-running legal battle over fractional flow-reserve technology.
The Patent Trial & Appeal Board denied St. Jude’s inter partes request on the grounds that it was applied for after the 1-year deadline following a complaint of infringement.
St. Jude 1st sued Volcano over the patent, for a "Multipurpose host system for invasive cardiovascular diagnostic measurement acquisition and display" or the "‘994 patent," in July 2010. Volcano filed a counter-claim Sept. 10, 2010, and the parties agreed to dismiss all claims with prejudice Oct. 21, 2012, according to the patent board.
But, ruling that a counter-claim counts as a complaint of infringement, the board found that St. Jude’s April 20 request for review fell outside the 1-year deadline.
"St. Jude was served with Volcano’s counterclaim for infringement of the ‘994 patent on September 20, 2010. St. Jude did not file its petition within one year of that date. The petition is, therefore, barred," the board found.
It’s the latest development in the long-running spat between Volcano and St. Jude over the FFR technology, in which they each have won rounds. Volcano won a trial in October 2012 after the jury found that that 2 Volcano patents for fractional flow reserve technology don’t infringe St. Jude Medical and that 2 St. Jude patents are invalid.
St. Jude won a 2nd trial later that month when that jury ruled that that 3 of 4 Volcano patents aren’t infringed by St. Jude (Volcano voluntarily pulled the 4th patent from the case). The damages portion of that case is slated for trial in January 2014.
The companies filed more suits against each other in April 2012, but those cases have yet to be resolved.