Medtronic secures favourable decision in patent dispute

28 September 2020 (Last Updated September 28th, 2020 11:16)

Medtronic has received a favourable decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the US Patent and Trademark Office in a dispute with Axonics Modulation Technologies.

Medtronic secures favourable decision in patent dispute
In November last year, Medtronic filed a suit against Axonics for the alleged infringement of seven patents. Credit: Medtronic.

Medtronic has received a favourable decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the US Patent and Trademark Office in a dispute with Axonics Modulation Technologies.

The companies were in a dispute over the intellectual property for Medtronic’s sacral neuromodulation device offerings after Medtronic filed a suit against Axonics for the infringement of seven patents last year.

In response, Inter Partes Review (IPR) was launched by Axonics on all seven patents.

However, the PTAB rejected without hearing the challenge to Medtronic’s US Patent No 9,463,324 (‘324 patent), which protects key technology related to implant recharging and temperature control.

The patent is vital in the infringement case pending against Axonics.

According to the company, the PTAB found there was no reasonable likelihood that any claims of the ‘324 patent are invalid. The decision by the board is final and cannot be appealed.

Medtronic Restorative Therapies Group Pelvic Health & Gastric Therapies business vice-president and general manager Brooke Story said: “Medtronic is pleased with the PTAB’s decision to uphold the most important of the patents challenged. Innovation is vital to our business and we will vigorously defend our IP Portfolio in this case.”

Meanwhile, the PTAB will launch full IPR proceedings in relation to the six additional patents in question. In those IPR proceedings, the PTAB will hear testimony and arguments from both sides.

The board is expected to issue a final decision regarding the patent dispute between Medtronic and Axonics within next 12 months.

In September last year, Axonics received the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its rechargeable sacral neuromodulation (r-SNM) System to treat faecal incontinence.

The company obtained CE mark for its rechargeable sacral neuromodulation system (SNM) in 2016 to treat urinary and faecal dysfunction.