Abdou v. Alphatec Spine, Inc., 3-12-cv-01804 (CASD November 19, 2014, Order) (Benitez, J.)
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Medical Device Claims Indefinite Under Nautilus
The court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment that plaintiff's medical device patents were invalid as indefinite. "The question here is whether the absence of identified boundaries in terms of proximity, distance, or location renders the claims indefinite under a new and more rigorous standard imposed by the Supreme Court? The Court finds that it does. . . . There is no question that the relationship terms lack any quantitative parameters or a range of distance between the mount or anchor and a target or disc space. . . . The accurate targeting of the surgical site and positioning the mount, anchor, or fixation member to limit movement provide 'some standard for measuring the scope of the phrase[s],' but something more, short of absolute or mathematical precision, is required. . . . These claims all have some meaning and are not insolubly ambiguous, but they do fall short of the new, more rigorous reasonable certainty standard for indefiniteness. The lack of clarity in these claims leaves the next inventor in the 'zone of uncertainty,' not knowing what is claimed and what is still open."