DUBLIN, Sept. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) has won an important victory in a patent dispute over intellectual property for its sacral neuromodulation device family, the InterStim™ systems. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected in its entirety Axonics' attempt to invalidate a key Medtronic patent.
"Medtronic is pleased with the PTAB's decision to uphold the most important of the patents challenged," said Brooke Story, vice president and general manager of Medtronic's Pelvic Health & Gastric Therapies business, which is part of the Restorative Therapies Group. "Innovation is vital to our business and we will vigorously defend our IP Portfolio in this case."
Medtronic filed suit against Axonics in November 2019, asserting claims for infringement of seven patents. In response, Axonics filed Inter Partes Review (IPR) on all seven patents. However, the PTAB has now rejected without hearing the challenge to Medtronic's U.S. Patent No. 9,463,324 ('324 patent) and found that Axonics' arguments lack merit. The '324 patent protects key technology related to implant recharging and temperature control and is central to the infringement case pending against Axonics. In rejecting Axonics' arguments, the PTAB found there was no reasonable likelihood that any claims of the '324 patent are invalid. That decision by the PTAB is final and not appealable.
Over the last week, the PTAB has also decided to institute full IPR proceedings related to the six additional patents at issue. In those IPR proceedings, the PTAB will hear testimony and argument from both sides.
"Contrary to Axonics' assertions, the PTAB has not made any final determination that any of Medtronic's patent claims are invalid," said Story. "The full IPR process will begin now, and the PTAB will issue a decision within the next 12 months."
Medtronic has the world's smallest rechargeable bladder/bowel control system and the fastest battery recharge available and is the only company that offers patients the choice of a rechargeable or recharge-free sacral neuromodulation device. With 25-years' experience of innovation, investment and pioneering therapy, Medtronic is the only company with five-year data across four indications demonstrating the safety and efficacy of its sacral neuromodulation systems.
About Medtronic Medtronic plc (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is among the world's largest medical technology, services and solutions companies – alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world. Medtronic employs more than 90,000 people worldwide, serving physicians, hospitals and patients in more than 150 countries. The company is focused on collaborating with stakeholders around the world to take healthcare Further, Together.
Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic's periodic reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.