Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) is suing one of its sales reps in Arizona, seeking to claw back about $200,000 it says it overpaid Michael McCormick last year.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for Minnesota, claims that McCormick tried to resign after the Natick, Mass.-based company approached him with a new employment contract that would have accounted for the snafu.
"Boston Scientific declined to accept McCormick’s purported resignation and directed him to comply with his obligations under the agreement, which remains in effect," according to the lawsuit. "In exchange for this guaranteed compensation in excess of $1 million, McCormick agreed to work for Boston Scientific for the full five-year term," the lawsuit says. "The agreement did not permit McCormick to unilaterally terminate his employment."
Boston Scientific declined to accept McCormick’s "purported" resignation, according to court documents. The company wants the court to force McCormick to return the money allegedly paid out to him in error.
An attorney representing McCormick, who began as a sales rep for Boston Scientific’s Guidant cardiac rhythm management division in 1999, had no comment on the lawsuit, according to the Pioneer Press.
St. Jude’s LightLab Imaging sues Volcano and Axsun Technologies – again
Fresh from a $5.1 million court win over Volcano Corp. (NSDQ:VOLC) and its Axsun Technologies subsidiary in Massachusetts, St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE:STJ) is suing the duo again in a Delaware state court.
St Jude’s LightLab Imaging Inc. unit, acquired last year, won $600,000 in damages and $4.5 million in legal fees from would-be Volcano pick-up Axsun Technologies Inc. Judge Margaret Hinkle of the Mass. Superior Court wrapped up three trials (including a jury trial) in her final decision, finding San Diego, Calif.-based Volcano and Billerica, Mass.-based Axsun guilty of breaching certain terms of a development and supply contract between the Bay State firms and of “misappropriation of trade secrets,” according to court documents.
Little Canada, Minn.-based St. Jude bought Westford, Mass.-based LightLab for $90 million last summer.
St. Jude and LightLab filed another lawsuit this week in Delaware’s Chancery Court, its second in that venue, seeking to force Axsun to honor the terms of a co-development deal it inked with LightLab before the subsidiaries were acquired by their respective parents. The first Delaware suit, filed by Volcano/Axsun, sought to "obtain a declaratory judgment to pave the way for Axsun to equip Volcano with a device nicknamed ‘HDSS,’ notwithstanding LightLab’s objection that Axsun’s supply of the so-called HDSS to Volcano would violate the same contract, common law, and statutory rights as are at issue in this suit," according to court documents.
"Having been frustrated in its efforts to obtain such a declaratory judgment in the HDSS suit by, among other things, LightLab’s development of evidence significantly unfavorable to Axsun and Volcano and the Court’s entry of an order staying the HDSS suit, Axsun and Volcano have embarked on another plan to supply Volcano with tunable lasers in violation of LightLab’s rights," according to the latest lawsuit.
Volcano said it denies the allegations in a prepared release.
"Volcano firmly believes that this latest lawsuit has no merit, and looks forward to the opportunity to proving so in court," according to the release.
"St. Jude Medical will continue to pursue its claims against Volcano and Axsun technologies in order to protect its contractual rights and intellectual property," according a statement emailed to MassDevice.
Fed circuit "guts" inequitable conduct patent defense
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit handed down an en banc ruling on inequitable conduct standards in Therasense Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson & Co., raising hte bar for proving inequitable conduct in establishing a patent.
A ruling of inequitable conduct, for which claims are made in about 80 percent of all patent infringement cases, "not only renders an entire patent (as opposed to particular patent claims) unenforceable, it can also taint related patents, lead to antitrust and unfair competition claims, and result in attorney fee awards to patent challengers,” according to The AM Law Litigation Daily.
The circuit court’s ruling “raises the bar for what it takes to prove inequitable conduct,” Edward Reines, of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, told the law blog.
It also means a lower court will have to reconsider its ruling that an Abbott (NYSE:ABT) patent for disposable blood glucose test strips is unenforceable, according to Reuters.