US Patent Number 11,000,000

by Dennis Crouch

On May 11, 2021, the USPTO issued US Patent Number 11,000,000.  Eleven million. Don’t forget that the office has issued another 1,000,000 design+plant patents and an additional 10,000 patents from 1791 to 1836 before the current numbering system was established.  I was a junior in college at Princeton when Patent No. 5,500,000 issued to John Feagin covering a zip-tie method for suturing. Over the past 25 years, the number of U.S. patents has effectively doubled.

U.S. Patent No. 11,000,000 is one of a family of inventions owned by 4C Medical Tech. of Minneapolis directed to heart surgery tools. The inventors are Saravana Kumar and Jason Diedering.  The patent claims a method of delivering and also repositioning a prosthetic heart-valve (AltaValve) that is used to repair a leaky-valve issue experienced by several million Americans (typically over age 75).

The invention itself is quite simple — basically, there is a catheter tube with a set of wire pairs.  Each pair includes one wire with a looped end and a second with a straight end.  The pairs work together to deliver, release, and position the prosthetic valve within the heart.  The claims were rejected as obvious and then allowed after a fairly minor amendment.

The patent and its family have been prosecuted by Jeff Stone and his team at Barnes & Thornburg (Minneapolis).  Check back here in Spring 2024 when I’m expecting an announcement for Number 12,000,000.

From the USPTO:


22 thoughts on “US Patent Number 11,000,000

  1. 8

    Gosh, Dennis’ software allowed the name “What a F**king Idiot” as a name for a poster (presumably the raised-from-the-dead MM?)? He needs to fix that pronto, or turn into a Rated R or Rated X web site.

    1. 8.1

      truthfully, I am surprised to see that that entry has not yet been expunged.

      But it does serve as a reminder that Malcolm has had more posts expunged than any other poster — combined. It’s been a relatively easy last 14 months for the editors here.

  2. 7

    Off topic, but as it typical when Judge Newman writes separately, she has the better of the dispute between herself and Judges Moore & Taranto in today’s New Vision Gaming case.

  3. 6

    I am sure that a blog entry is coming on today’s Trimble Inc. v. PerDiemCo LLC, but those who have not yet read it should go check it out. Basically, the CAFC stands by its precedent that merely sending a C&D letter does not constitute “sufficient contacts” necessary to confer specific jurisdiction on the state to which the letters are sent. When a troll sends the letters in the course of its business, however, that can rise to the sort of “doing business” in the forum state sufficient (depending on the state’s long arm statute) to confer personal jurisdiction.

    1. 6.2

      There is some serious song and dance in this case.

      The CAFC takes the case because of the substantial patent law impact, but then turns around and distinguishes the clear guidance of Red Wing with:

      Three subsequent developments have clarified the scope of Red Wing.

      First, the Supreme Court cases following Red Wing have made clear that the analysis of personal jurisdiction cannot rest on special patent policies…

      …In cases after Red Wing, the Court has emphasized that “[p]atent law is governed by the same . . . procedural rules as other areas of civil litigation.” SCA Hygiene Prods. Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Prods., LLC, 137 S. Ct. 954, 964 (2017) (alteration in original).

      Second, the Supreme Court has held that communications sent into a state may create specific personal jurisdiction, depending on the nature and scope of such communications [as if Red Wing did not exist at all]

      And as if the call to applying Federal Law (based on patents) seems to have compromised by the court’s own writings, they ‘supplement’ their position with, “In similar cases, our sister circuits have agreed that…

      With “we have identified other contacts relevant to the purposeful
      availment inquiry
      ” – only the last of five may apply – with it’s “ominous” sounding “ “extra-judicial patent enforcement” .

      and the third point provided byt he court certainly has a ‘goose and gander’ aspect to it:

      Third, the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Ford has established that a broad set of a defendant’s contacts with a forum are relevant to the minimum contacts analysis. There, the Court emphasized that a defendant’s contacts “must show that the defendant deliberately ‘reached out beyond’ its home—by, for example, ‘exploi[ting] a market’ in the forum State or entering a contractual relationship centered there.” Ford, 141 S. Ct. at 1025 (alteration in original) (quoting Walden v. Fiore, 571 U.S. 277, 285 (2014)).

      I wonder if people would be happy if the “P” and “D” labels were flipped, and the same analysis were to be applied?

      So… if you have patent, then you have personal jurisdiction in every state.
      But if you choose to do business in a Sate (obtaining the benefit of doing so), you may NOT have invoked personal jurisdiction in that state – even though the other side is forced to admit to such jurisdiction (because, you know, patents do not change anything special — except when they do).

      1. 6.2.1

        It’s not really fair to say there is “song and dance” in the analysis of this case. A three judge panel doesn’t have the power to directly abrogate or overrule Red Wing Shoe (1998), so the best they can do is make the case that its significance as a legal authority has been undermined and diminished by intervening legal developments, which is certainly true.

        >I wonder if people would be happy if the “P” and “D” labels were
        >flipped, and the same analysis were to be applied?

        Not really, because personal jurisdiction over the defendant is based on “stream-of-commerce” principles of making and/or selling accused products, which is not relevant to C&D letters. But personal jurisdiction is kind of an irrelevant in this context after TC Heartland, because Section 1400(b) venue imposes a far stricter requirement than personal jurisdiction anyway, and it doesn’t apply to DJ actions.


          >I wonder if people would be happy if the “P” and “D” labels were flipped, and the same analysis were to be applied?

          I do not understand the question here. How could personal jurisdiction ever be a problem for the plaintiff?


          It’s not really fair to say there is “song and dance” in the analysis of this case. A three judge panel doesn’t have the power to directly abrogate or overrule Red Wing Shoe (1998), so

          I could not disagree more – and still use the premise that you supply. It is entirely fair to characterize what they are doing as serious ‘song and dance’ precisely given your premise of “doesn’t have the power to directly abrogate or overrule.”

          As to Section 1400(b) and TC Heartland – those are exactly the types of things that DO make patent law different (no matter how much the courts want to pretend otherwise when looking at the other side of the SAME coin.

          You simply cannot have it both ways (and especially since both ways cuts against patent owners).

  4. 5

    I started practicing patent law in 1976. That year the PTO put out a flyer celebrating the issuance of US Patent No. 4,000,000 and Plant Patent No. 4,000. It’s been a busy 45 years.

  5. 4

    I agree with you MaxDrei. This patent checks all the procedural boxes for a quality examination, but so did the the famous Cuozzo (IPR #000..1) patent. Like the Cuozzo patent the applicant did not do a pre-examination search before filing which is a common trait for patents that get overturned in IPRs.

  6. 3

    “This invention is no more 101 eligible than car axles or garage door openers are.”

    — The CAFC

    1. 3.1

      … to that effect, it would be relatively simple for most any high school student (without a Flash of Genius) to identify the “Laws of Nature” (or, colloquially, the classes of simple machines) that these claims merely state, “Apply it,” to.


          Hi Malcolm (while this sub-string lasts, with a so ck puppet choice like that – it won’t be long)

          What’s your story on the extended absence? Genuinely curious.

  7. 2

    PAT. NO. Title
    11,000,003 Soybean variety 5PFUT36
    11,000,002 Soybean variety 5PSMT60
    11,000,001 Soybean cultivar 83271604
    11,000,000 Repositioning wires and methods for repositioning prosthetic heart valve devices within a heart chamber and related systems, devices and methods
    10,999,999 Soybean cultivar 83392343
    10,999,998 Soybean variety 01072346
    10,999,997 Plants and seeds of corn variety CV432034

    They rigged it again hahah.

    1. 2.3

      Who is they, and what is meant by “rigged”? I wonder, did anybody lobby the USPTO for the privilege of being awarded the eleven millionth patent?

      That said, the field of tools for heart surgery is an excellent choice as vehicle for promoting the benefits of a properly functioning patent system. It’s got everything, hasn’t it: life-saving mechanical engineering, self-explanatory and expertly drawn diagrams that everybody can understand, and a textbook example of orderly prosecution at the USPTO, with early recognition of the merits of the invention and speedy agreement between Office and Applicant as to what scope of protection it deserves.

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