Commissioner of Patents Rejects Elekta’s Request to Reverse 2021 Decision Invalidating Its Patent Claims

Ruling reasserts that Elekta lacks basis to claim patent infringement against ZAP Surgical

ZAP Surgical Systems, Inc. today announced that the US Commissioner of Patents refused Elekta’s request for a re-hearing on the recent decision to invalidate Elekta’s patent claims. Those patent claims were originally used as the basis for Elekta’s 2019 lawsuit against ZAP Surgical.

The original lawsuit filed in 2019 against ZAP Surgical Systems by the Swedish company Elekta, alleged that ZAP Surgical’s ZAP-X® Gyroscopic Radiosurgery® platform infringed Elekta’s US Patent No. 7,295,648. As part of the lawsuit, Elekta sought monetary damages with a three-fold enhancement for willful infringement, as well as an injunction that would prohibit the importation, manufacture, use and sale of the ZAP-X.

However, in April 2021, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) ruled that Elekta’s original patent claims were invalid. This week’s decision by the Commissioner to deny rehearing that decision is a further blow to Elekta, who’s cobalt-based Gamma Knife® system once dominated the SRS marketplace, yet has recently faced strong competitive pressure from ZAP.

Commercialized in 2019, the ZAP-X platform now has 40 combined system installations and orders around the world. Utilizing a modern linear accelerator to produce radiation, ZAP-X is the first and only dedicated radiosurgery system to no longer require Cobalt-60 radioactive sources, thereby eliminating the significant costs to host, secure and regularly replace volatile radioactive isotopes. This unique ability also supports the International Atomic Energy Association’s (IAEA) position where the use of radioactive materials in medicine is now strongly discouraged for myriad global security and environmental reasons.

“We’re pleased that the USPTO asserted the soundness of its previous decision to invalidate the claims within Elekta’s ‘648 patent, which was granted in 2007 but never reduced to practice,” says Dr. John R. Adler, CEO of ZAP Surgical and Emeritus Dorothy & TK Chan Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiation Oncology at Stanford University. “Despite what many may consider to be abusive patent litigation, advances in patient care have again prevailed over the regressive interests of big corporations.”

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