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Insight: Maximizing the Value of Medical Device Innovations

May 14, 2020

Rapid advancements in medical device technology have brought unprecedented changes to the industry. Increasingly, innovative medical devices also combine developments from other industries such as software, hardware, lighting, and 3D printing, resulting in a surge of new and improved medical equipment.

To leverage these innovations, many medical device companies have focused on developing a traditional patent portfolio of utility patents. However, several recent legal and legislative developments suggest that it is time for these companies to reassess how best to protect, license, and—if necessary—enforce medical device intellectual property.

Consider the following when developing strategies to help maximize the value of medical device innovations:

  • Design patents are playing an increasingly important role in med device IP portfolios
  • Medical devices have functional features, and may include replaceable, single-use components, which may be protected by design patents
  • While the end product of a med device design patent—a few words and some drawings—is seemingly simple, care should be given to the filing and enforcement strategy to maximize protection
  • New enforcement strategies are flexible and efficient for design patent owners
  • Develop an effective litigation strategy well before claim construction by identifying the ordinary observer and purchasing environment from the outset of the case
  • Maximize damages award by seeking profit disgorgement for high-margin devices and lost profits/reasonable royalties for low-margin devices or convoyed sales

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