A federal judge in Texas “has a hard time” with arguments presented by Covidien plc (NYSE:COV) in its long-running patent spat with Applied Medical Resources over surgical trocars.
Covidien had asked Judge Keith Giblin to permanently ban AMR from making the devices, according to court documents. But in previous filings with the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, the Mansfield, Mass.-based medical device giant said it could no longer make the devices because of a previous ruling enjoining it from making the trocars, Giblin wrote.
“The court has a hard time with Tyco’s arguments,” he wrote, citing a motion introduced by Covidien before the March 2010 trial in the case. “Tyco now appears to argue that the court should have disregarded this statement entirely or, perhaps, credited it for purposes of Tyco’s motion in limine but ignored it for purposes of Tyco’s motion for permanent injunction.
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“It cannot have been error for the court to rely on Tyco’s own statements when making its ruling,” Giblin added. “Even crediting Tyco’s argument, which is flatly contradicted by the evidence in the record when the order was entered, the court also relied on the fact that Applied no longer makes or sells the accused products.”
It’s only the latest development in a series of patent infringement lawsuits between the firms. Earlier this month Giblin denied AMR’s motion for summary judgment in another trocars case. Giblin denied the motion, sending the case to trial later in September, according to court documents.
In June, Covidien counter-sued Applied for patent misuse, non-infringement and invalidity, two weeks after AMR filed its fifth lawsuit over surgical trocars.
In May, Applied sued over a recently re-issued trocar patent. In its counter-suit, Covidien denies the patent infringement claim, according to a press release.
“The reissue patent is based on U.S. Patent 5,407,433 which was previously invalidated when a federal court granted a motion for summary judgment by a Covidien affiliate,” according to the release. “This is the fifth time since 2003 that Applied has alleged patent infringement against a Covidien trocar product. Covidien has won the previous four cases. During that time, Covidien also won a jury verdict against Applied, finding that certain of Applied’s Kii and Universal trocars infringed a Covidien patent.”
Last year, a federal judge ruled in favor of a Covidien patent infringement lawsuit, costing Applied Medical $4.8 million. That suit also involved a trocar, a device used for withdrawing fluids from a body cavity.