Covidien escapes patent suit filed by Thermal Scalpel with licensing deal

October 9, 2009 by MassDevice staff

The Newport Beach, Calif.-based firm drops the Mansfield, Mass.-based medical device maker and its corporate predecessor, Tyco Healthcare, from a lawsuit accusing some of the industry's largest players of infringing a patent for its electrically heated surgical cutting tool after cutting a deal to license the technology.

Covidien escapes patent suit filed by Thermal Scalpel with licensing deal

Covidien and its corporate predecessor Tyco Healthcare Group LP escaped a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Thermal Scalpel LLC against some of the industry's biggest players, including Boston Scientific Corp., Smith & Nephew and Medtronic.

The lawsuit concerns a patent, an "Electrically Heated Surgical Cutting Instrument," that Newport Beach, Calif.-based Thermal Scalpel accused the other companies (including Arthrocare Corp., St. Jude Medical and C.R. Bard) of violating.

Judge David Folsom of the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas approved a joint motion to dismiss Covidien and Tyco from the suit.

"After considering the joint motion and finding that good cause exists for its entry, it is hereby ordered that defendants Covidien Ltd. and Tyco Healthcare Group LP are dismissed from the above-entitled and numbered cause with prejudice as to the re-filing of same, that the counterclaims of Covidien Ltd. and
Tyco Healthcare Group LP against plaintiff are dismissed with prejudice as to the re-filing of same, and that each party shall bear its own costs and fees," Folsom wrote.

The move comes after Covidien and Thermal Scalpel, which is a subsidiary of Acacia Research Corp., struck a licensing deal (PDF) covering the technology, which cauterizes tissue as it makes incisions.

Thermal Scalpel is seeking a judgment of infringement against the other defendants, plus damages, pre- and post-judgment interest and legal fees.

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