A federal judge shot down Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc.’s motion to bar Covidien (formerly Tyco Healthcare Group LP) from selling endotracheal tubes in a patent case filed in Wisconsin.
Judge William Griesbach of the U.S. District Court for Eastern Wisconsin ruled that an injunction would not be in the public interest because it would deny patients access to their doctors’ preferred treatment:
“An injunction would mean that some nontrivial number of patients would not be able to receive the treatment their physician preferred,” Griesbach wrote. “Although the outcome is impossible to measure, I am satisfied that the problem of interfering in patient care in proceedings like this is a real one, and that there is a legitimate public interest in allowing physicians to have as wide a variety of options as is possible.”
K-C filed suit in April, alleging that Covidien subsidiary Mallinckrodt’s SealGuard and SealGuard Evac endotracheal tubes infringe a patent for its Microcuff product.
Kimberly-Clark is seeking preliminary and permanent injunction, compensatory damages, prejudgment interest and a triple-damages award, plus an accounting of profits, costs and legal fees.