Philips takes another shot at Zoll over AED patents

Philips and Zoll logos

Philips Healthcare (NYSE:PHG) plans to go another round with Zoll Medical Corp. (NSDQ:ZOLL) over automated external defibrillators, suing Zoll in Washington state over a new string of allegedly infringed patents.

Philips wants a jury to issue an injunction to keep Zoll from selling its AED Plus and AED Pro devices, as well as compensation for lost sales and legal fees.

The Netherlands-based device maker first sued Zoll over AED patents in June 2010, claiming infringement of a string of 15 patents related to the devices.

Zoll responded by counter-suing over 5 of its own patents a month later, accusing Philips’ HeartStart MRx, HeartStart
XL, and HeartStart AED lines of infringement.

External defibrillators are big business for both companies. Each has touted lucrative contracts from the U.S government to supply the devices, which are used to shock the heart back to beating after a heart attack.

Zoll announced an important reimbursement win last month from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which said it wouldn’t limit reimbursement for the company’s flagship LifeVest wearable defibrillator.

Read MassDevice’s interview with Zoll CEO Richard Packer

The news sent Zoll shares up 30%, recouping some of the value lost when the reimbursement review was initiated.

Zoll pulled in some $111 million in 2011 in rental revenues from the LifeVest, a 57% jump compared to $70.7 million during 2010. The device is prescribed by doctors for patients who lease the product, typically for between 2 to 3 months, according to regulatory filings.

Zoll spokeswoman Diane Egan told MassDevice that the company does not comment on pending legal matters.

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