Medical device giant Covidien (NYSE:COV) is at the center of a new infringement lawsuit accusing the company of violating a trio of Ivera Medical patents for technologies used to clean and disinfect certain valves and IV connectors.
The devices in question are small caps that fit over the ends of needle-less IV connectors, helping protect them from bacteria or other infectious agents and thus limiting patients’ exposure to blood-borne disease. Inside the caps are small sponges containing 70% isopropyl alcohol.
Ivera has been active in the court, bringing infringement lawsuits against at least 3 rivals in the last year. One lawsuit led to the validation of 3 of Ivera’s patents covering the caps, but all 3 are still under litigation.
"It seems incredible that a company like Covidien would knowingly enter a market, still in its early growth stage, with a product that is the subject of an existing patent infringement action," Ivera CEO Bob Rogers said in prepared remarks. "The exposure they have, including treble damages and the potential to disgorge all profits, for them is quite large."
Ivera has asked the court to award damages for Covidien’s alleged infringement, ban Covidien from selling the caps and to issue an injunction preventing Covidien from infringing on the patents in question. Ivera has also asked that the case be heard before a jury, legal documents show.
"Ivera has been damaged and has suffered irreparable injury due to acts of infringement by Covidien and will continue to suffer irreparable injury unless Covidien’s activities are enjoined," according to the legal complaint.
Ivera has brought similar claims against Excelsior Medical Corp., Hospira and Catheter Connections, according to Law360.com.