On February 6, 2019, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California (the “Court”) granted a stay in the patent litigation proceedings between ATEC and NuVasive and vacated the December 9, 2019 trial date. The stay, which was agreed to by both ATEC and NuVasive, halts active litigation in the patent suit while the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office considers challenges recently filed by ATEC to invalidate certain NuVasive patents covering its CoRoent lateral implants.
“We are extremely pleased with the many legal successes that we have seen to date in this lawsuit, including the Court’s entry of the stay,” said Pat Miles, ATEC’s Chairman and chief executive officer. “I am confident that, upon full review, the Patent Office will invalidate the challenged NuVasive implant patents. While we welcome the positive legal developments, we are not looking to distinguish ATEC in the courtroom. Instead, we are on a mission to differentiate ATEC in the operating room, leveraging our organic innovation machine to improve surgical outcomes. With twelve new product releases slated for 2019, including the highly anticipated launch of our revolutionary nerve monitoring platform, we are increasingly well-positioned to be the new leader of innovation in spine.”
NuVasive originally filed suit against ATEC in February 2018, asserting various infringement claims against ATEC’s lateral surgery procedure. In May 2018, upon ATEC’s motion, the Court dismissed NuVasive’s claims that ATEC infringed design patents covering the implants and sequential dilators used in lateral surgery.
In July 2018, the Court denied NuVasive’s motion for preliminary injunction, rejecting NuVasive’s effort to block ATEC from participation in the lateral surgery market and finding that NuVasive failed to meet its burden to prove it was likely to succeed on the merits of its case. Then, in January 2019, the Court rejected NuVasive’s attempt to dismiss ATEC’s claims that NuVasive intentionally had misled the Patent Office as a means of obtaining certain patents asserted against ATEC.
ATEC anticipates that the stay of proceedings announced today will remain in effect until at least July 2019, when it is expected that the Patent Office will decide whether it will institute a full review of the challenged NuVasive implant patents.