Intervertebral Implant Patent Defendant’s Summary Judgment Motions Denied by Eastern District of Texas

July 17, 2016 – On July 7, Judge Gilstrap denied in large part Globus Medical’s motions for summary judgment of noninfringement and invalidity of three expandable vertebral implant patents asserted by plaintiff Flexuspine, Inc.  The District Court adopted Magistrate Judge Mitchell’s conclusions that material facts were in dispute regarding anticipation of each of the asserted patents and infringement of two of the asserted patents.  Regarding the third patent, the District Court adopted the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation that no reasonable factfinder could find oblique movement of the expansion member of the accused implant, as required by the asserted claim.

The District Court further denied, at the Magistrate’s recommendation, summary judgment of no willful infringement.  Globus argued in post-Halo supplemental briefing that the record does not support a finding of egregious conduct.  The plaintiff responded that Globus was aware of the asserted patents, as well as Flexuspine’s infringement analysis of at least one patent.  The court concluded that Globus had failed to demonstrate that there was no genuine dispute of material fact as to the egregiousness of its conduct.

The patents at issue are U.S. Patent Nos. 7,204,853 and 7,316,714, entitled “Artificial Functional Spinal Unit Assemblies” and 8,123,810, entitled “Expandable Intervertebral Implant With Wedged Expansion Member.”   The case is captioned Flexuspine, Inc. v. Globus Medical, Inc. Docket No. 6-15-cv-00201, in the Eastern District of Texas.

By: Sean C. McDonagh