A Medical Device Daily

StemCells (Palo Alto, California) reported it has consented to a stay, on mutually acceptable terms, of its patent infringement lawsuit against Neuralstem (Rockville, Maryland) pending reexamination by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) of the four patents that are the subject of the litigation.

In its lawsuit, StemCells alleges Neuralstem’s contemplated stem cell products and drug screening and discovery services infringe four of its patents. StemCells stated that Neuralstem’s petition to the PTO to reexamine these patents was expected given the scope of the issued claims in these patents, which cover Neuralstem’s current business, including the human spinal stem cells it uses.

StemCells noted that petitioning for patent reexamination and a stay is a procedural tactic often used by defendants to delay a trial. StemCells further noted that the PTO regularly grants such reexamination requests and often preliminarily rejects the reexamined patents, but then subsequently upholds patent claims in later stages of the review and appeals process.

Regardless of the outcome of the reexamination of these four patents, StemCells said it believes there will be no material effect on its patent portfolio. It owns or has exclusive licenses to 53 issued or allowed U.S. patents and more than 150 granted or allowed patents worldwide.

StemCells’ patent portfolio includes claims covering cultures containing either human or other mammalian neurospheres or neural stem cells, derived from any tissue source, whether cultured in suspension or adherent conditions.

StemCells, is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing cell-based therapeutics to treat diseases of the nervous system, liver and pancreas. The company’s programs seek to repair or repopulate neural, liver or other tissue that has been damaged or lost as a result of disease or injury.

Neuralstem is a biotherapeutics company that uses its Human Neural Stem Cell technology to create cures for diseases of the central nervous system.

In other patent news:

Medela (Baar, Switzerland) reported it has filed a patent nullity suit with the German Federal Patents Court against two German patents licensed to Kinetic Concepts (San Antonio).

On May 1, Medela filed a notice of appeal of a portion of the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in litigation brought by KCI against Medela and others asserting infringement of these U.S. patents. That case included a favorable judgment that Medela was not liable for infringing the patents at issue.

Recently, Medela launched its Invia healing system in the U.S. A key feature of the system is its infection-preventing dual mechanism, which includes antimicrobial properties and active drainage to aid in controlling infection.

Medela, a privately held company, operates in the fields of medical technology and breastfeeding for use by patients and healthcare professionals.