August, 6th, 2015

On August 3, 2015, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) denied two petitions by Stryker Corporation for inter partes review (IPR) of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,471,310 and 7,821,530, owned by Karl Storz Endoscopy-America, Inc. (IPR2015-00673, Paper 9; IPR2015-00675, Paper 9.) The KARL STORZ patents are directed towards a “video imaging system that minimizes the effect of EMI on the image data, provides a small, lightweight easy to use camera head, permitting interchangeable use of a variety of intelligent camera heads with a single camera control unit (CCU), and allows the utilization of new camera heads with new functions as they become available without having to replace the existing CCU.” KARL STORZ commercializes the technology and Stryker is one of its competitors.

In its IPR petitions, Stryker challenged the claims of the ‘310 and ‘530 patents with seven different prior art combinations. However, the PTAB adopted KARL STORZ’s arguments that the prior art combinations did not invalidate the claims. In particular, the PTAB agreed with KARL STORZ that the claim term “camera head,” which is a term common to both patents, means “an endoscopic video camera.” Based on that construction, the PTAB found that Stryker failed to demonstrate a reasonable likelihood that any of the challenged claims are invalid as the cited prior art was not directed to endoscopic video cameras and Stryker did not provide any rationale for combining the prior art.

The ‘310 and ‘530 patents are two of five patents that KARL STORZ has asserted against Stryker in Karl Storz Endoscopy-America, Inc. v. Stryker Corp., Case No. 3:14-cv-00876-RS (N.D.Cal., Feb. 26, 2014). The ‘310 and ‘530 patents are the subject of two additional Stryker IPR petitions: IPR2015-00672 and IPR2015-00674, respectively. The other three asserted patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 8,069,420; 8,439,821; and 7,844,657) are also the subject of the following four IPR petitions: IPR2015-00677 and IPR2015-00678 (‘420 patent), IPR2015-00679 (‘821 patent), and IPR2015-00764 (‘657 patent). The PTAB has yet to decide whether to institute these six remaining IPR requests, but is expected to issue its decisions within the next month. The District Court case has been stayed pending the resolution of these IPR petitions.

Attorneys Wesley W. Whitmyer, Jr., Michael J. Kosma and Michael A. Lavine are counsel of record for KARL STORZ in the above-mentioned IPR and District Court proceedings. Whitmyer IP Group’s victory for KARL STORZ comes on the heels of the law firm being named by Managing IP as one of the most active law firms at the PTAB. Encouraged by its early success, Whitmyer IP Group looks forward to resuming the District Court litigation in due course to continue enforcing KARL STORZ’s patents against Stryker.

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