Retractable Technologies (NYSE:RVP) won another round in its war with Becton Dickinson & Co. (NYSE:BDX) over safety syringe technology when a Texas federal judge declined BD’s bid to overturn a $113.5 million ruling that it violated the Lanham Act’s false advertising proscription.
Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas on Sept. 30. denied BD’s motion for judgment as a matter of law.
"[T]he Court finds that the jury’s verdict in this case was reasonable and supported by substantial evidence. Judgment as a matter of law is inappropriate because BD has failed to show that a reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for RTI on the issues set forth above," Davis wrote. "A new trial is inappropriate because BD has failed to show that the jury’s verdict was against the weight of the evidence, the damages awarded were excessive, or that the trial was unfair or prejudicial error was committed in its course. Finally, remittitur is inappropriate because BD has failed to show that the damages award in this case exceeds the bounds of a reasonable recovery."
BD earlier lost an initial bid to toss the case, after Davis ruled that infringement can constitute anti-competitive behavior.
It’s the latest development in a long-running patent battle between the companies that dates back to 2007, when Retractable sued on allegations that Becton’s Integra syringes infringe patents covering its competing VanishPoint devices. It’s the 1st time that both antitrust and false advertising claims were heard, as previous judges ruled to split the claims into separate lawsuits.
A federal appeals court decided in July 2011 to reverse an earlier jury finding that both the 1m and 3ml sizes of the BD syringe infringed the Retractable patent, ruling that only the smaller size trespassed on the intellectual property. That same court later denied Retractable’s bid for a re-hearing, setting the stage for an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. But the high court refused to hear Retractable’s appeal, prompting the current lawsuit. Last month Davis dismissed BD’s move to nix the trial, finding sufficient evidence "suggesting that [Becton’s] contracts have anti-competitive effects."