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Paul Barker

July 2014

Conversation on Patenting Medical Device Technologies

In a recent article that appeared in Endovascular Today and at, author Gerard von Hoffmann reports on the importance of checking and double checking any and all patents that may relate to your medical device invention. Of course, this is good advice for anyone engaged in manufacturing and invention, and we wanted to highlight in particular a handy list of take-away themes from von Hoffmann’s article.

Consider the following when ensuring your intellectual property rights:

  • The major question to keep in mind is “Does any part of this invention borrow from or depend on another technology that I do not own?” If you do not own it, do you have the freedom to continue to practice your new method or use your invention?
  • “A patent gives you the right to exclude others; it does not necessarily provide a right to practice the invention.” That is, if your invention is in any way dependent on the intellectual property rights of others, your ability to use and market your own technology may be limited. Research your “Freedom to Operate” before you get to far along in the implementation process.
  • Know your options and be prepared to make changes to your product should you face challenges because of patent issues. Von Hoffmann suggests being willing to change your produce, invalidating or acquiring the pre-existing patent that is preventing you from implementing, waiting for the pre-existing patent to expire, or selling in only non-patent markets.

Read the full article to learn more about how to be aware of patent issues early on in your manufacturing and development process so that you do not end up in a situation in which you need to make major changes to your process or product right before roll-out.