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Disc Disease Solutions Inc. v. VGH Solutions, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

May 1, 2018

DISC DISEASE SOLUTIONS INC., Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
VGH SOLUTIONS, INC., DR-HO'S, INC., HOI MING MICHAEL HO, Defendants-Appellees

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia in No. 1:15-cv-00188-LJA.

          Christopher Nace, Paulson & Nace PLLC, Washington, DC, argued for plaintiff-appellant.

          Meaghan Kent, Venable LLP, Washington, DC, argued for defendants-appellees. Also represented by Steven James Schwarz, Claire Marie Wheeler.

          Before Reyna, Wallach, and Stoll, Circuit Judges.

          Reyna, Circuit Judge.

          Disc Disease Solutions Inc. appeals an order from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia that dismissed with prejudice its complaint for failure to state a claim and denied its request to file a first amended complaint. The district court erred when it dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. We reverse the district court's grant of the motion to dismiss and remand for further proceedings.

         Background

         This appeal involves U.S. Patent No. 8, 012, 113 ("'113 patent"), entitled "Spinal Brace, " and U.S. Patent No. 7, 618, 509 ("'509 patent"), entitled "Wrinkled Band Without Air Expansion Tube and its Manufacturing Method." The '113 patent is directed to an air injectable band with a rigid panel worn around the waist. When the band is inflated it expands vertically to provide traction to the spine of the user to relieve back pain. The '113 patent consists of three independent claims. Claim 1 recites:

1. A spinal brace comprising:
a flexible air injectable band configured to be disposed about a torso of a user and to provide traction to a spine of the user;
a support panel configured to provide support by compression to at least a region of said torso, said support panel being less flexible than said air injectable band; and
means of associating said support panel with said flexible air injectable band;
wherein the air injectable band is configured to expand in an axis generally parallel to the spine when inflated so as to apply a force at a rib area of the user via an upper edge and a force at a hip area via a lower edge to provide said traction comprising a decompression of vertebrae within the spinal column of the user; and
wherein said means of associating comprise two association openings formed through the support panel, one association opening disposed at each of substantially opposite ends of said support panel, the air injectable band extending through the association openings, wherein the association openings traverse across the support panel in a direction generally parallel to the spine and wherein said association openings have a ...

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