Medtronic Says U.S. Patent Office Rejected Axonics' Latest Challenge to its Patents

However, according to Axonics, the PTAB invalidated 10 of the 15 challenged claims.

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Medtronic said the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has affirmed the validity of claims in two of its patents in an ongoing patent infringement lawsuit filed by Medtronic against Axonics over sacral neuromodulation (SNM) technologies. Cumulatively, the PTAB has now upheld the validity of five of the Medtronic patents at issue in this lawsuit.

Medtronic will now ask the federal court in the Central District of California, where Medtronic's patent infringement lawsuit is pending, to lift its stay on the lawsuit and proceed to trial on the five valid and affirmed patents so Medtronic can present its case in front of a jury.

"It's now past time for Axonics to stand up in a court of law and take responsibility for its unauthorized use and infringement of Medtronic's intellectual property," said Mira Sahney, president of the pelvic health business in the neuroscience portfolio at Medtronic. "We respect the intellectual property of innovators, and our patent system exists to benefit society by encouraging the kind of innovation that Medtronic invests in. We are pleased with the PTAB's decision, and we are confident that the evidence at trial will show that Axonics improperly used and profited from Medtronic's patented technology."

However, according to Axonics, the PTAB invalidated 10 of the 15 challenged claims in Medtronic’s ‘314 patent and declined to invalidate the challenged claims in the ‘756 patent over one Administrative Patent Judge’s dissenting opinion. The district court case where Medtronic has asserted these patents is currently stayed based on these IPRs as well as pending IPRs on other Medtronic asserted patents. Axonics plans to seek review of the PTAB’s finding that the remaining claims were not unpatentable.

“We are pleased with the PTAB’s decision finding numerous claims of the ‘314 patent unpatentable,” said Axonics CEO Raymond W. Cohen. “Axonics will continue to vigorously defend itself against Medtronic’s claims while we remain focused on fulfilling our mission of changing the lives of patients suffering from bladder and bowel dysfunction.”

Medtronic also filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) along with a parallel action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware to block Axonics from improperly importing and selling products that infringe two additional Medtronic patents related to the MRI compatibility of implantable medical devices.