Salient Surgical, Medtronic sue Bovie over blood vessel sealing patent

Salient, MDT, BVX logos

Salient Surgical Technologies and Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) slapped Bovie Medical Corp. (NYSE:BVX) with a patent infringement lawsuit over technology used in Salient’s Aquamantys electrosurgical cautery system.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for Delaware, accuses Bovie Medical of violating a trio of patents licensed to Portsmouth, N.H.-based Salient with its SEER fluid-assisted electrosurgical system. It seeks a jury trial, a permanent injunction on further infringement, damages on lost royalties and legal fees.

Both the Aquamantys and SEER (saline-enhanced electrosurgical resection) devices use saline and radiofrequency energy to seal blood vessels during surgery. The Food & Drug Administration cleared the SEER device for liver oncology surgery in November 2008, close on the heels of a CE Mark in the European Union. The Aquamantys system won a series of 510(k) clearances from 2005 to 2008.

Salient, founded as TissueLink Medical in 1999, banked $15 million from its seventh funding round in January. Its backers include Medtronic — which owns a nearly 9 percent stake in the company — TLM Investors, QuestMark Advisors and the RiverVest Venture Fund.

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