A Federal Circuit court ruled that Abbott (NYSE:ABT) must face patent infringement claims going back to St. Jude Medical.
Niazi Licensing sued St. Jude in 2017, claiming that it indirectly infringed its patent, issued in 2003 for the double catheter system, by inducing medical professionals to infringe it.
The patent, issued in 2003, describes the system as better suited for “use in the coronary sinus, especially in patients suffering from congestive heart failure,” according to the order issued in 2021 by a federal court judge in Minnesota. The ’268 patent also describes the system as an “outer, resilient catheter having shape memory and a hook-shaped distal end” and an “inner, pliable catheter slidably disposed in the outer catheter.”
Judge Wilhelmina Wright for the District Court of Minnesota in 2019 granted summary judgment to Abbott’s St. Jude, ruling that the company’s written instructions for the double catheter “do not encourage, recommend, or promote infringement for at least three reasons.”
In a ruling decided on April 11, 2022, the Federal Circuit reinstated most parts of the patent and Niazi’s infringement claim, finding that descriptions within the patent, despite being wide-ranging, were enough to properly describe the company’s catheter product.
“We agree with Niazi that the intrinsic record and extrinsic evidence inform a skilled artisan, with reasonable certainty, of the meaning of ‘resilient’ and ‘pliable,'” the opinion reads. “The terms are broad, but they are not uncertain. The district court erred in holding otherwise.”
Additionally, the appeals court sent the case back to the Minnesota court to decide on whether St. Jude violated Niazi’s patent rights. Abbott will have the opportunity to prove that the patent parts it is alleged to have violated are invalid for other reasons.