On June 20, 2017, Elekta AB, Elekta Holdings US, Inc., Elekta Ltd., and Elekta, Inc. were able to show that claims 57–59 of U.S. patent number 7,945,021 owned by Varian Medical Systems, Inc., Varian Medical Systems AG, Varian Medical Systems Nederland BV, Varian Medical Systems Nederland Holdings BV, were unpatentable. Claims 57–59 were held to be unpatentable on both obviousness, and anticipation grounds. The claims relate to a “computing unit, coupled to the rotatable gantry via a communications network, to store the image projection data captured by the flat-panel imager.” The PTAB made its decision relying on a 2001 article and a 1999 article that disclose using a personal computer to collect and transfer image projection data, and to control a rotatable gantry. The ‘021 patent is titled “Multi-Mode Cone Beam CT Radiotherapy Simulator and Treatment Machine with a Flat Panel Imager” and relates to a radiotherapy simulator and treatment machine that uses a flat panel imager to capture x-ray data to generate a cone beam. The IPR number is 2016-00547.
By: Nicholas Marcell