A German court issues a split decision in a patent infringement lawsuit between Smith & Nephew plc and Kinetic Concepts Inc. over negative-pressure wound therapy.
A German court handed down a split decision in the long-running patent battle between Smith & Nephew plc (NYSE:SNN) and Kinetic Concepts Inc. (NYSE:KCI), over negative-pressure wound therapy, ruling that one version of Smith & Nephew’s Renasys system infringes a KCI patent but clearing another model.
The German District Court in Mannheim decided that the British health products conglomerate’s Renasys GO system does not infringe the patent held by its San Antonio-based competitor. But the court ruled that two elements of SNN’s Renasys EZ system does infringe the KCI patent.
Smith & Nephew said the infringing components, a canister and foam used with the Renasys EZ system, "represents a very small portion of the Smith & Nephew NPWT portfolio in Germany," according to a press release, noting that it will modify the part to alleviate the infringement and lift the German court’s injunction.* Smith & Nephew is still pursuing a nullification of the KCI patent in a separate lawsuit, according to the release.
KCI said it could appeal the decision and acknowledged SNN’s move to have the German court invalidate the patent.
It’s the latest round in a worldwide donnybrook between the two companies over NPWT technology. In July, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office confirmed the validity of a trio of Kinetic Concepts patents after a re-examination. KCI has also notched its belt with other victories here and in Australia, while the British conglomerate won decisions in Germany and the United Kingdom over equivalent intellectual property.