Retractable Technologies (NYSE:RVP) said this week it inked a settlement deal with Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) to resolve a long-running suit claiming BD engaged in false advertising, according to an SEC filing.
Little Elm, Texas-based Retractable Tech said the newly settled case was filed in 2007, when Retractable Tech filed a suit against BD claiming violations of antitrust acts, false advertising, product disparagement, tortious interference, and unfair competition.
BD, along with holding group MDC Investment Holdings, retaliated with a patent infringement suit against Retractable Tech, according to the SEC filing.
Through the newly agreed settlement, which included both BD and MDC, Retractable Tech said it released all claims against BD and MDC that arose prior to May 3. BD and MDC agreed to do the same, releasing all claims against Retractable Tech that arose prior to the same date.
Retractable Tech said that it withdrew its petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for an en banc rehearing, and that both parties filed for a dismissal with prejudice in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana division.
No payments or fees were assessed in the settlement deal, according to Retractable Tech’s SEC filing.
The dispute can be traced back to 2001, when RTI sued BD for patent infringement; that case settled for $100 million in 2004. RTI sued again barely three years later, alleging further patent infringement and anti-trust violations. That case was split, with the anti-trust portion stayed while the patent infringement claims were litigated; in July 2011 a federal appeals court decided that case.
The anti-trust phase began in 2010; eventually BD was found to have made false claims about some of its safety syringes. In September 2013 a jury found for RTI, awarding $113.5 million after finding that BD violated the Lanham Act’s false advertising rules, the Eastern Texas court later trebled that amount, ordering the company to pony up more than $352.2 million in damages.
In December 2016 the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the anti-trust ruling but upheld the false advertising claim, sending it back to the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas for a decision on how much profit BD must disgorge. The Eastern Texas court found the following August that BD needn’t disgorge any more profits to RTI and that prior court rulings already gave adequate relief.
RTI appealed that decision to the 5th Circuit, which in a split decision March 26 upheld the lower court’s ruling.