A federal judge in Delaware ruled yesterday that Boston Scientific may proceed in its patent dispute with Micro-Tech over hemostatic endoscopy clips.
Boston Scientific filed the lawsuit against Micro-Tech USA and its Chinese manufacturer, Micro-Tech Nanjing, alleging that they infringed three of its patents for endoscopic hemostatic clips. Henry Schein (Melville, N.Y.) is named as a defendant as Micro-Tech’s distributor.
Boston Scientific claims that Micro-Tech’s SureClip hemostatic clip products infringe the patents for its Resolution and Resolution 360 clips, which are designed to control gastrointestinal bleeding. Boston Scientific claims that Ann-Arbor, Mich.-based Micro-Tech’s SureClip, SureClip Mini, and SureClip Plus hemostasis clips infringe patents on its Resolution clips, which apply clips to tissue or to a blood vessel to stop bleeding. Boston said it obtained the patents in 2006, 2015 and 2018.
Micro-Tech’s SureClip products contain several of the elements of Resolution clips, according to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware. Regarding clips that attach to tissue (its ‘725 patent), Boston Scientific alleges that Micro-Tech’s clips include a flexible sheath that can pass through the bends of an endoscope and reach the target tissue; a capsule that extends from the proximal to the distal ends with clips on both ends and clip arms; and a pair of J hooks that are “releasably connected to the clip assembly.”
In the claim about its ‘245 patent, Boston Scientific alleges that SureClip products designed to stop bleeding of a blood vessel contain the following similar elements to its Resolution products: a clip having at least two clip legs; a breakable link adapted to couple a control wire to the clip and broken by force applied by the control wire; a control wire that can open and close the clip legs; an axially rigid sheath enclosing the control wire; a handle; and an actuator for the control wire.
Boston Scientific also describes SureClip products as containing elements that infringe its ‘371 patent, including a capsule, clip assemblies with two clip arms that can clip tissue, a control element, and a sheath that covers at least a portion of the control element, and which is releasably coupled to the capsule.
Micro-Tech Nanjing argued that it should not be a defendant because it does not sell the devices directly in the United States, but the court found that the Chinese manufacturer “purposefully directed its activities at residents of the United States” by establishing Micro-Tech USA to distribute them and promoting them at U.S. trade shows from 2014 through 2019.
The court also found that, despite Micro-Tech’s and Henry Schein’s arguments, Boston Scientific’s claims contain enough information “to plausibly allege that each of the Defendants plausibly commits at least one type of infringing act,” including Micro-Tech USA and Henry Schein as distributors of the products in the United States.