UPDATED 10/12/2011 with comments from Covidien
A Texas jury handed Applied Medical Resources a win over Covidien plc (NYSE:COV) in a long-running patent spat over surgical trocars, ruling that AMR does not infringe the patents and that they’re invalid, anyway.
The trial in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, which wrapped up Oct. 7, is the latest front in the dispute between the two firms.
Earlier this month, Judge Keith Giblin shot down a move by Covidien to bar Applied from making the devices – even though it appears that neither company still makes them, according to court documents.
Last month Giblin denied AMR’s motion for summary judgment in another trocars case. Giblin denied the motion, sending the case to trial later in September, according to court documents.
In June, Covidien counter-sued Applied for patent misuse, non-infringement and invalidity, two weeks after AMR filed its fifth lawsuit over surgical trocars.
In May, Applied sued over a recently re-issued trocar patent. In its counter-suit, Covidien denies the patent infringement claim, according to a press release.
“The reissue patent is based on U.S. Patent 5,407,433 which was previously invalidated when a federal court granted a motion for summary judgment by a Covidien affiliate,” according to the release. “This is the fifth time since 2003 that Applied has alleged patent infringement against a Covidien trocar product. Covidien has won the previous four cases. During that time, Covidien also won a jury verdict against Applied, finding that certain of Applied’s Kii and Universal trocars infringed a Covidien patent.”
Last year, a federal judge ruled in favor of a Covidien patent infringement lawsuit, costing Applied Medical $4.8 million. That suit also involved a trocar, a device used for withdrawing fluids from a body cavity.
“Covidien is disappointed with the verdict and is considering all its options, including appeal,” spokesman Bruce Farmer told MassDevice in an email.