• December 22, 2011

The University of Minnesota sued on four patents related to a device used for repairing heart defects (an “occluder,” roughly a “hole-blocker” (here is an image of one kind of occluder).  The U of M occluder looks like two umbrellas facing one another, attached at their center-points.  The occluder gets snaked through a catheter into the heart.  One “umbrella” is opened on one side of a “heart hole,” and then the catheter is pulled back a smidgeon so the other “umbrella” can be opened on the opposite side of the “heart hole,” effectively patching the hole.

U.S. District Court Judge Patrick J. Schiltz (D. Minn.) held that the U of M’s patent was “anticipated” by previous inventions and was therefore invalid.  Judge Schiltz distilled a U of M testifying expert’s arguments, on a few key points, down to, “NOT,” and concluded that non-reasoned argument ≠ reason.  Ergo, one side in the litigation, the Court found, included reasoned expert opinion backing up its arguments on patent invalidity (AGA Medical), and the other, not, so the U of M lost.

 

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