Posted On: July 16, 2013 by Gregory J. Brodzik

Judge Stark construes claims relating to minimally invasive surgery

Judge Leonard P. Stark recently construed fifteen disputed claim terms across U.S Patent Nos. 7,691,057; 7,819,801; and 7,905,840, each entitled “Surgical Access System and Related Methods.” NuVasive, Inc. v. Globus Medical, Inc., C.A. No. 10-849-LPS (D. Del. Jul. 12, 2013). The three patents-in-suit relate “to a surgical access system and methods for performing surgery — particularly lumbar surgery, commonly referred to as minimally invasive spinal lumbar surgery.” Id. at 1. Judge Stark noted that in November 2011, the Court ordered plaintiff “to reduce the number of asserted claims from 55 to 15” and the parties “to reduce the number of proposed claim terms to be construed at this point in the case to no more than 15.” Id. at 1 n.1. Judge Stark construed the following fifteen disputed terms:

- "handle assembly"
- "handle assembly being capable of moving said plurality of retractor blades"
- "pivoting said first and second pivotable arm members relative to one another"
- "actuating"
- "coupled" / "coupling"
- "rigidly coupled"
- "being positioned to abut one another and form a closed perimeter"
- "closed position"
- "open position"
- "being positioned generally away from one another and forming an open perimeter"
- "opened"
- "groove"
- "neuromonitoring/nerve monitoring"
- "trans-psoas"
- "using [at least one] stimulation electrode"

NuVasive, Inc. v. Globus Medical, Inc., C.A. No. 10-849-LPS (D. Del. Jul. 12, 2013)