Fenwal Inc. won a nearly 6-year battle against Haemonetics Corp. (NYSE:HAE) over blood separation technology, after a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled in its favor this week.
The case dates back to 2005, when Haemonetics accused the then-Baxter Healthcare (NYSE:BAX) subsidiary of infringing a patent for a portable blood-collection device.
Fenwal lost that suit in the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, which awarded a $15.7 million in damages to Haemonetics but was later overturned on appeal. Meanwhile, Fenwal changed the way it made its Alyx blood collection device to avoid violating the patent, prompting HAE to sue again in 2009.
Judge Nathaniel Gorton of the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts ruled Sept. 13 that neither Fenwal device infringes the Haemonetics patent. That likely means the case is over, as Haemonetics has no plans for an appeal, spokesman Chris Lindop told MassDevice.
"We accept the decision of the court, but it doesn’t affect our business," Lindop told us. "We have continued to sell our double red cell collection device before, during and will do after the lawsuit is dismissed. There are no current plans to appeal. We’re disappointed by the outcome but nonetheless planning to move forward."
For its part, Fenwal said it knew all along that it wasn’t in violation of the HAE patent.
“We respect the intellectual property of other companies and have said from the beginning that these suits have no merit,” senior vice president of commercial operations Dean Gregory said in prepared remarks. “Most of all, this is a victory for our customers, who have supported us for years as we worked to ensure these lawsuits wouldn’t disrupt their operations.”