NuVasive's spine surgery patent claims won't be revived, appellate court rules

Spinal Tech

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Aug. 18 refused to revive claims in a NuVasive spine surgery patent case, siding with a previous decision made by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Four notes:

1. The patent in question relates to its eXtreme lateral interbody fusion surgical access system and associated methods for creating a minimally invasive operative corridor to the lumbar spine through the psoas muscle, a tissue comprising significant neural structures, according to court documents.

2. NuVasive challenged the appeals board ruling that found the claims related to the XLIF patent would have been obvious over "prior art."

Prior art is any evidence that an invention was already publicly known or available before the filing date of a patent application. An existing product is the most obvious form of prior art, according to the European Patent Office.

3. The appeals board initially found that the patent lacked sufficient evidence to the merits of the invention, according to court documents.

4. After revisiting the case, a three-judge Federal Circuit panel saw "no error in the board's obviousness conclusion" and found that its findings were supported by substantial evidence.

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