- A federal appeals court has sided with Axonics in its dispute with Medtronic for the second time in recent weeks.
- The U.S. Court of Appeals found the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) “refusal to consider the new arguments and evidence was erroneous,” canceling its ruling.
- Medtronic began the legal row in 2019 by claiming that Axonics’ rechargeable sacral neuromodulation system infringes its patents. That case has yet to be settled or go to trial.
Axonics responded to the 2019 lawsuit by trying to show certain Medtronic claims were unpatentable because they were anticipated or obvious. The PTAB sided with Medtronic, only for Axonics to appeal on the grounds that the board erred by refusing to consider its reply arguments and evidence. This week, the appeals court agreed with Axonics and canceled the board’s ruling.
The court told PTAB to “consider the merits of Axonics’ responsive arguments and evidence.” The board should also consider any request by Medtronic to present new evidence, the appeals court ruled.
By overturning a PTAB decision for the second time in four weeks, the appeals court has given Axonics a second chance to show certain Medtronic claims are unpatentable. Medtronic remains confident that it can defend the patentability of the claims and prevail in the legal dispute.
“Medtronic’s patents have survived various challenges by Axonics at the Patent Office, including the recent Federal Circuit appeals. Notably, the Federal Circuit has not invalidated any Medtronic patents asserted against Axonics, and Medtronic is confident in the strength of our patent portfolio,” a spokesperson for Medtronic wrote in an emailed statement. “Medtronic is ready to present our case on Axonics’ infringement of multiple Medtronic patents in court and continue to protect our intellectual property.”
The legal wrangling has pushed back a trial to hear the lawsuit brought by Medtronic. A jury trial was planned for this month, but the need for the PTAB to reconsider its earlier rulings has delayed the event.