A patent spat between St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) and Occlutech GmbH that morphed into a personal lawsuit against Occlutech CEO Tor Peters was dismissed by a German court, prompting Peters to call the suit "amazing and quite shocking."
St. Jude inherited the case, involving intravascular occlusion devices, after it acquired AGA Medical for more than $1 billion last year.
Each side has logged victories since the case first hit German courts in 2006, with Jena, Germany-based Occlutech eventually coming out on top in a ruling by the German Supreme Court in May. St. Jude slapped Occlutech and Peters with another set of lawsuits the next month.
Occlutech said this week that a district court in Düsseldorf dismissed the personal suit against Peters "privately for alleged violation of patent EP 808 138" covering St. Jude’s Amplatzer occlusion device platform.
"It is amazing and quite shocking to see a company that you would normally consider ethical, going to such length in trying to kill a competitor by also going after private individuals with this kind of massive and unjustified litigation," Peters said in prepared remarks. "Obviously we are very happy that the courts in Germany now ruled in our favor as courts in the U.K., the Netherlands and Sweden have done before."
Occlutech, which reeled in $21.6 million last month, said the latest ruling is subject to an appeal by St. Jude.
J&J’s Ethicon Endo-Surgery loses bid to toss Covidien suit
Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) Ethicon Endo-Surgery division lost a bid to dodge a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Covidien (NYSE:COV) predecessor Tyco Healthcare over harmonic scalpel technology.
Judge Janet Bond Atherton of the U.S. District Court for Connecticut torpedoed the J&J subsidiary’s claim that Covidien can’t show that Ethicon knew or should have known that it was trespassing on its rival’s intellectual property.
The case dates back to 2004, when Tyco sued EES over alleged infringement of a quartet of patents. Ethicon disputed Tyco’s assertion that the alleged violation of three of the patents was willful – a significant point, as a finding of willful infringement could entitle Covidien to triple damages if it wins the case.
Zynex Medical Inc. (OTC:ZYXI) agreed to settle a refund request for more than $1.3 million from health insurer Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield for $226,000, according to a regulatory filing.
The deal calls for Littleton, Colo.-based Zynex to pay $60,000 up front and the remainder over the next 12 months, according to the filing.
"The amount of the Settlement was adequately reflected in the company’s reserves as of June 30, 2011," according to the filing.
New trial in RyMed/ ICU Medical dispute over IV connector valves
A federal judge in Delaware granted a new trial in a patent dispute between RyMed Technologies Inc. and ICU Medical (NSDQ:ICUI) over valves used in IV connectors.
ICU sued RyMed in July 2007, alleging violations of four patents for "Medical valve and method of use." In December 2010, a jury found that RyMed trespassed on two of the patents. That prompted both parties to ask for new rulings on claims in one of the patents, with ICU seeking a judgment of willful infringement and RyMed asking Judge Leonard Stark of the U.S. District Court for Delaware for a ruling of literal infringement.
Stark set May 7, 2012, as the start date for the new trial, according to court documents.
Argentum loses bid for new trial in Noble wound dressing case
A federal judge in Pennsylvania denied a bid by Argentum Medical LLC for a new trial in a wound dressing patent spat with Noble Biomaterials.
Judge Richard Caputo of the U.S. District Court for Middle Pennsylvania ruled that Argentum is not entitled to a new trial after a jury found in Noble’s favor in March and awarded $3.3 million in damages. Last month, Caputo levied an additional $1 million sanction against Argentum for filing a lawsuit in bad faith.
Argentum oved for a new trial in March, arguing that Noble failed to prove it acted in bad faith and disputing the jury’s award of punitive damages.
“Because there was sufficient evidence from which the jury could find the defendants liable, the court made no error affecting the defendants’ substantial rights, and the jury awards do not shock the conscience, both motions will be denied,” Caputo wrote, according to court documents.
Fed. Circ. vacates judgment against HemCon in Marine Polymer case
HemCon Inc. won its appeal of a U.S. District Court for New Hampshire decision that it infringed a Marine Polymer Technologies Inc. patent for silver-coated wound dressings.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated a $29.4 million judgment against HemCon and a ruling that barred it from making the allegedly infringing products (the appeals court later stayed the verdict pending the outcome of HemCon’s appeal).
Marine Polymer asked the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to review the patent in August 2009, while the case was still wending its way through the Granite State court. The USPTO examiner approved an amended patent that removed six claims in November 2010, after the district court handed down the ruling against HemCon.
The appeals court, in a split decision, sent the case back to New Hampshire for reconsideration in light of the re-examined patent.
"Under the reexamination scheme, Marine Polymer effectively surrendered its original claims in order to preserve the patent’s validity," according to court documents. "Therefore, the validity of the original claims is no longer a live issue, as future infringement claims will either be based on the re-examined claims or will be barred by the intervening rights doctrine."