由 John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | May 08, 2019
“When you file an IPR, you provide examples of what is called ‘prior art’ that demonstrate a party’s patent claims are not novel,” David Clapper, CEO of Minerva Surgical, told HCB News. “We provided the patent trademark office with several examples of inventors who disclosed intrauterine tests using flow, volume, pressure and other means to say that the claims of the Hologic patent were obvious, and someone who was skilled in the art with a bachelor’s degree and knew something about surgery could have figured out how to perform this method effectively and safely.”
Following the review, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office agreed with Minerva and invalidated the patent in December 2017. Hologic appealed the decision to the federal court. A three-judge panel on April 19 unanimously upheld the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s choice to invalidate the patent, and ordered Hologic to pay Minerva’s costs for the appeal. It noted in its deliberation that the Federal Circuit was “not likely” to reconsider its decision and that the Supreme Court would likely not grant certiorari (further review) into the matter.
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The second patent was part of an old line of patents and expired in November 2018. Following a ten-day trial in June, a Delaware jury vindicated Minerva of willful patent infringement and awarded Hologic $4.8 million for this and the first patent. Hologic is only entitled to damages based on Minerva’s sales up until the date of expiration of the patent on November 19, and no damages afterward, regardless of the outcome of any appeal.
While the court denied post-trial motions, including Hologic’s request for a permanent injunction, it did recognize the 2018 jury's decision for Minerva to pay Hologic in damages.
“We are pleased to report that a U.S. District Court in Delaware recently upheld a jury award of $4.8 million in damages for Minerva Surgical’s infringement of Hologic patent 9,095,348 related to endometrial ablation technology," said Hologic in a statement to HCB News. "In addition, the court awarded Hologic supplemental damages through patent expiration in an amount to be determined."
Post-trial motions, including that of the permanent injunction as well as for supplemental and post-judgment damages, were heard in late February.
Minerva is currently appealing the ruling for past damages. Back to HCB News