Vascular Solutions (NSDQ:VASC) sued Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) today over guided catheter patents in what Vascular Solutions CEO Howard Root called "1 of the most blatant plagiarisms of a patented medical device that I have ever encountered," according to a press release.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for Minnesota, alleges that Boston Scientific’s Guidezilla catheter "is a copy of VSI’s GuideLiner catheter. Guidezilla’s design, materials, and dimensions are materially the same as those of GuideLiner and those described and claimed in the patents-in-suit," according to court documents.
"Boston Scientific’s Guidezilla is 1 of the most blatant plagiarisms of a patented medical device that I have ever encountered," Root said today in prepared remarks. "Virtually every substantive aspect of our GuideLiner product and patents, from the design to the dimensions to even the exact words used in the product’s deployment instructions, has been misappropriated by Boston Scientific and applied to their Guidezilla catheter. We do not take the initiation of patent litigation lightly, but this is exactly the type of conduct that patents were intended to protect – a small medical device company creating a completely new and innovative product only to be flagrantly violated by a knock-off brazenly marketed by the world’s largest interventional cardiology company. We intend to move quickly to stop this violation of our rights."
The lawsuit alleges infringement of 3 VSI patents, all for "Coaxial Guide Catheter for Interventional Cardiology Procedures." It accuses a former VSI employee named Sam Rasmussen, a senior product manager, of taking the same job with Boston Scientific, where he is "responsible for providing marketing leadership for the launch of the Guidezilla catheter," the lawsuit alleges.
"On March 21, 2013, Rasmussen contacted VSI’s sales representative for the Minnesota territory, Matt Nigon, wanting to discuss the GuideLiner catheter. Rasmussen asked Nigon about the market size and pricing for the GuideLiner catheter," according to the lawsuit.
Vascular Solutions wants the court to find for infringement, willful infringement (and the resulting trebled damages), preliminary and permanent injunctions against further infringement, damages, pre- and post-judgment interest and legal fees.