Kardiametrics sued a raft of medical device companies, including Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX), Covidien (NYSE:COV), Abbott (NYSE:ABT) and others, alleging infringement of patents it bought earlier this year covering blood clot protection devices.
Kardiametrics filed the suits in the U.S. District Court for Delaware. State records show that it was incorporated March 20, 2013; it acquired the 5 patents in question April 18, according to court documents. The patents are still listed as being assigned to Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) or subsidiary PercuSurge by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
The lawsuits, all filed Sept. 20, were leveled against Boston Scientific, Abbott, Covidien, Control Medical Technology, Johnson & Johnson‘s (NYSE:JNJ) Cordis Corp. subsidiary, Medrad and Merit Medical (NSDQ:MMSI), according to the documents.
The suits against Abbott, Control Medical and Covidien were voluntarily dismissed without prejudice, according to court records.
The remaining lawsuits assert infringement of U.S. patents 6,544,276 and 6,986,778 (both called "Exchange Method for Emboli Containment") and U.S. patents 6,805,692, 6,135,991 and 6,454,741 (all called "Aspiration Method"), according to the documents.
"Plaintiff is informed and believes that in 1995, PercuSurge Inc. was formed as a private company to develop solutions allowing interventional vascular physicians to capture and remove debris and blood clots, otherwise known as emboli and thrombi that dislodged during artery-clearing procedures such as angioplasty and stent treatments, that might otherwise block downstream vessels and damage those vessels and organs such as the brain and heart.," according to the documents. "Plaintiff is informed and believes that in December 2000, Medtronic acquired PercuSurge for approximately $225 million in stock at a time when PercuSurge had no product approved for patient use in the United States and eleven issued US patents and approximately twenty-six pending US applications."
"Plaintiff is informed and believes that on or about June 1, 2001, the U.S Food and Drug Administration granted clearance to Medtronic to market the PercuSurge GuardWire Plus Temporary Occlusion and Aspiration System. Plaintiff is further informed and believes that the GuardWire was the first distal embolic protection system to receive FDA approval in the United States," according to the records.
The lawsuits accuse the remaining defendants of citing "patents originally filed by PercuSurge on multiple occasions," alleging that they "knew or should have known of the PercuSurge patent portfolio," according to the documents.