Posts Tagged: "medtronic"

Other Barks & Bites, Friday, April 5: Senators Introduce FLAG Act, Apple Wins iPad Trademark Case, Poland May Ignore New EU Copyright Rules

This week in Other Barks & Bites: a trio of U.S. Senators introduce a bill for countries and municipal governments that want to register trademarks; Williams-Sonoma and Amazon go to court in trademark case over rights to resell merchandise; Apple wins a ruling that ends a seven-year long dispute over the iPad trademark; Prenda Law attorney at the center of a copyright settlement mill scheme could receive a prison term of 12.5 years; the Kardashians avoid an adverse ruling in a trademark case over the Khroma cosmetic line; the World Intellectual Property Organization unveils new AI-powered tools for trademark searches; and Poland’s ruling conservative party indicates freedom of speech concerns over the new EU copyright reforms.

Federal Circuit Affirms Eastern District of Texas Holding that Medtronic Induced Infringement of Doctor’s Patents

On January 24, the Federal Circuit affirmed a jury’s finding that the defendant-appellant, Medtronic, induced surgeons to infringe two patents of plaintiff-appellee, Dr. Mark Barry, which were directed to methods of correcting spinal column anomalies, such as those due to scoliosis, by applying force to multiple vertebrae at the same time. Medtronic appealed on several grounds, “principally concerning the public-use and on-sale statutory bars, but also concerning prior invention, inequitable conduct, and induced infringement.” The majority of the panel rejected the appellant’s arguments, while Chief Judge Prost dissented and would have found that one of the patents was invalid due to either the public use or on sale bars of Section 102(b). Barry v. Medtronic, Inc., No. 2017-2463, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 2305 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 24, 2019) (Before Prost, Chief Judge, Moore and Taranto, Circuit Judges) (Opinion by Taranto) (Dissent by Prost).

NASA Licenses Patent Portfolio to Achieve Widest Possible Distribution of Technology

NASA will enter into a range of different patent license agreements from no-cost evaluation licenses up to exclusive license. The agency’s goal in licensing technologies is to reach the widest distribution possible for the commercialized technology. To some, it may seem unusual that exclusive licenses would be part of NASA’s licensing options if the goal was truly the widest distribution possible. “We’ll only grant an exclusive license if we believe that exclusivity leads to the widest distribution,” Lockney said, noting that there were a couple of examples where such a situation could play out. An exclusive license for the broadest possible distribution could make sense if the technology was being commercialized in a medical device and a single multinational company offers an incredibly broad distribution model; such was the case with a flexible insulating plastic material for use with pacemaker wires recently licensed by NASA with Medtronic. In other situations where multiple companies occupy the same market, NASA might grant an exclusive license to one company if it’s determined that, without the exclusivity, none of the firms could invest adequately in commercializing the technology.

European Patent Office grants more patents to US companies than ever before

The number of patents granted to US companies by the European Patent Office (EPO) grew by 46.7% in 2016, the highest increase in ten years, and a new record high. Last year US companies were granted 21,939 patents by the EPO (2015: 14,955).

Medical software provides life-saving results, not abstract ideas

Those who make the argument that medical software is abstract, or trivial, are just wrong. Medical software has been developed to benefit both patients and medical practitioners by providing better diagnostics, which ultimately lead to new and better treatments… In the context of medical technology, the proper evaluation and effective treatment of patients depend upon complex correlations assessed over prescribed times. This, in turn, relies upon the generation of predictive models from a comparison of an individual patient’s signs and symptoms against a database of studied human wellness parameters, which contain patterns of diagnosis, chosen treatment, and outcome. These efforts are far from trivial.

Advances in artificial pancreas technology leading towards probable FDA approval in 2017

Artificial pancreas systems can provide dramatic improvements to the quality of life of diabetes patients and Kowalski should know, as he himself has had type 1 diabetes for 30 years. “I certainly think that the overnight control is going to be a huge, huge benefit,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to participate in a trial for five days and I was amazed that every single morning my blood sugar was perfect.” Data collected from artificial pancreas device users also shows better outcomes on A1C tests which indicate the risk that a diabetes patient has for developing blindness, kidney failure or other problems associated with diabetes. Kowalski added how his work had put him into contact with diabetes patients who were very frustrated by the variability of the disease despite strict adherence to diet and physical activity.

U.S. patent system may be biggest obstacle for inventors

The NPR-style article tells the story of Tory Norred, a fellow in the cardiology program at the University of Missouri, who in 1998 came up with the idea for a collapsible prosthetic aortic valve that could be fished up through an artery with a catheter and implanted in the hearts of patients who suffered from failing aortic valves. Unlike previous valves, Norred’s stent disperses the force needed to hold it in place against the aorta’s walls, requiring no sutures. In November 2002 he received U.S. Patent No. 6,482,228, “Percutaneous Aortic Valve Replacement.” Norred knew that he was on to something important, but that was not the beginning of success, it was the start of a nightmare that led to repeated frustration.

The Internet of Things Patent Landscape for Wearables

Technology is in a constant state of evolution, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is no exception. The top five emerging markets for the IoT – medical, fitness wearables, industrial, automotive, and smart homes – are driven by patented IP, much of which is being applied in IoT inventions. The patents for the five technology areas of the IoT – Things, networking, computing and storage, services and analytics – differ in content and maturity. The bottom line is that the technologies at the beginning of this system, Things, and at the end of this system, analytics, are the newest. The technologies in between, networking, computing and storage, and services, are established, but will evolve and scale for IoT. It is in these “in between” areas that we see the most dominance of mature companies.

CAFC Rejects Claim Construction on Plain Meaning when Context Leads to a Different Interpretation

The district court erred by relying entirely on the plain meaning of the claim where context-based interpretations were necessary. The Court held that the plural terms “intervals” and “remotes” in isolation could mean what must occur during each interval and what was applicable to all the remotes, but there was no requirement indicated in the remaining claim language or specification that at least one remote transmit and receive frames during at least one interval. The Court held that this evidence, together with other language in claim 21, and teachings in the specification, showed that each cycle in the claims must have intervals in which remotes were allowed to transmit.

Patent Litigation Settlement Roundup

On November 8, 2012, Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL) announced that it, along with Famy Care Ltd., has entered into a settlement agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. that will resolve patent litigation related to Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo® Tablets, which are indicated for the prevention of pregnancy in women who elect to use oral contraceptives as a method of contraception. Also on November 8, Research Affiliates, LLC and WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (NASDAQ: WETF) announced that Research Affiliates will withdraw its patent infringement lawsuit brought against WisdomTree and pay WisdomTree $700,000. On October 31, 2012, Acacia Research Corporation (Nasdaq:ACTG) announced that its subsidiaries settled patent litigation with Medtronic and Comcast Cable in unrelated cases.

A Conversation with Gary Michelson About Patent Reform

In my conversation with Dr. Michelson he explained to me that while he benefited greatly from the patent system he would have benefited even more if the system worked better. At this point Dr. Michelson “does not have a dog in the fight,” as he explained, because with the exception of a few lingering applications his patent portfolio has been fully acquired and he stands to gain no additional revenues. Nevertheless, Dr. Michelson, the quintessential successful American inventor, would like to see the US patent system improve for the benefit of all independent inventors, the American economy and to promote real job growth. He has some excellent ideas, I agree with his positions on almost every front, and it is with his approval that I put my conversation with him on the record.

Argument Day in Bilski at US Supreme Court

If you are going to read only one of the briefs in this case I would strongly recommend the Medtronic amicus brief, which was filed in support of neither party. Much of the Medtronic brief is devoted to explaining what the company does, some of the key medical innovations created by the company, why these innovations have helped improve the quality of health care for real people, and what technologies they will no longer be able to seek patent protection for, which will all but certainly lead to less medical innovation, which is hardly good for society.