A federal judge yesterday tossed a patent infringement lawsuit between defibrillator rivals Zoll Medical and Philips Healthcare (NYSE:PHG), the latest development in their 4-year-old dispute over automated external defibrillator technology.
Philips, the Dutch conglomerate whose healthcare division is based in Andover, Mass., sued its neighbor in nearby Chelmsford in June 2010, alleging infringement of 15 AED patents. Zoll countered with a lawsuit of its own a month later, accusing Philips of infringing 5 Zoll AED patents. The cases were later consolidated, according to court documents.
The medical device companies filed a series of motions for summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, but Judge Nathaniel Gorton in November 2013 denied all of them except a joint motion to nix certain claims, driving the case to a jury trial. The December trial resulted in wins and losses for both parties, with a jury ruling that Zoll infringed 4 Philips patents and that Philips infringed 2 Zoll patents.
In January, Zoll leveled another suit against Philips, alleging that its newer HeartStart XL+ also violates Zoll’s ‘187 patent. But Gorton agreed with Philips’ contention that the HeartStart XL+ is virtually identical to its MRx device, which was ruled out of the earlier cases.
"Philips maintains that the same issue was raised in the earlier action because the MRx and XL+ are identical in all material respects. The court agrees," Gorton wrote.