Sleep-respiratory devices maker ResMed (NYSE:RMD) landed a big win this week after the International Trade Commission ruled that arch-rival Apex Medical bears the burden of proof a long-running patent infringement lawsuit.
The burden fell to Apex because the company was the one to initiate the latest proceedings, the court wrote.
Last year Apex Medical signed a consent order agreeing not to import any devices into the U.S. which infringe on ResMed’s patents. Apex later requested an advisory opinion to determine whether certain of its sleep-disordered breathing treatment systems were covered by the consent order.
In June this year an administrative law judge ruled that ResMed, as the patent holder, must prove that the Apex devices in question are in violation of patent laws. The ITC reversed that decision, putting the burden of proof back on Apex to demonstrate that it’s products are clear of infringement.
ResMed in March 2013 filed its complaint against Apex, filing a parallel claim in U.S. federal courts, alleging that a handful of Apex’s products violate patents for respiratory devices and masks. ResMed also named Apex U.S. distributor Medical Depot among the violators.
The companies have been at war in multiple courts and jurisdictions, including in Germany where a court just permanently barred certain of Apex’s sleep masks.
The Regional District Court in Munich issued permanent injunction prohibiting Apex from selling products that include headgear that the court deemed in violation of ResMed’s patents. The ruling applies to the Apex Wizard 210 and 220 masks, and requires that Apex forfeit its inventory, tally all sales and pay damages to ResMed.
ResMed touted the win but isn’t stopping there. The company also has claims underway against Apex’s iCH and XT Fit CPAP devices, and those complaints are slated to go to trial later this year.