Venable successfully defended Arthrex Inc. against claims that its wrist plating system infringed TriMed Inc.’s U.S. Patent No. 8,177,822. The ruling follows a three-day bench trial that was held in September 2020, which was one of the first trials in Delaware since the pandemic and was one of the first “hybrid” patent trials in the country. U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika ruled on March 29, 2021 that a previous claim construction order was incorrect. Under the court’s revised construction of the asserted patent claims, TriMed “did not present evidence at trial to satisfy its burden of proof on infringement.”
According to the opinion, there was a dispute early in the case over a term from the first claim of the patent: "wrap around a terminal endpoint of the bone." TriMed proposed the construction "extending around a point on the terminal end of the bone," while Arthrex suggested "curving or extending [around/onto] the end surface of the bone.”
After “re-examining the intrinsic evidence with a more fulsome understanding of the technology,” Judge Noreika in her ruling revised the court’s construction of the phrase “wrap around a terminal endpoint of the bone” to require “that the second region is configured to curve onto a terminal endpoint and back around such that the hook shaped projections are substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the bone at the terminal end.” Both parties agreed that such a change would clear Arthrex of infringement.