• Monday, July 15th, 2013

A federal appeals court overturns a ruling by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office that a bone plate patent owned by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Synthes is valid, handing a win to orthopedics rival Smith & Nephew.

A federal appeals court handed a win to Smith & Nephew (FTSE:SN, NYSE:SNN) in its patent battle with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary Synthes, overturning a decision by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office that a Synthes-owned patent for a bone plate is valid.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in a rare decision to go against the patent office’s appeals board, ruled that claims in the so-called ‘744 patent would have been obvious to a person skilled in the art – namely, an orthopedic surgeon with 2 years’ experience implanting plates to fix fractures in long bones like the femur.

“While the ‘substantial evidence’ standard of review for the [patent office appeals board’s] factual findings makes Smith & Nephew’s burden on appeal a heavy one, we are satisfied, after careful review, that Smith & Nephew has met that burden and has shown that the claims at issue would have been obvious,” wrote Judge William Bryson, according to court documents.


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Leave a Reply