New Jersey medical device maker Vascular Solutions (NSDQ:VASC) has been fighting patent infringement battles on a couple of fronts, and the company is ready to go the distance to protect its portfolio.
In its latest financial report, Vascular Solutions provided updates on patent battles against Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) and Terumo Corp. (TYO:4543) over catheter and compression system technologies, respectively.
Vascular Solutions CEO Howard Root was bullish about the company’s prospects in a recent call with investors, noting that it expects a decision this August in a lawsuit accusing Boston Scientific and its Guidezilla catheter of patent infringement.
Root has previously called Guidezilla "one of the most blatant plagiarisms of a patented medical device that I have ever encountered."
The lawsuit alleges that Boston Scientific’s Guidezilla catheter "is a copy of VSIs 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.
Vascular Solutions had attempted to win a court injunction preventing Boston Scientific from manufacturing or selling Guidezilla in the U.S., but Boston Scientific earlier this month touted regulatory wins in the U.S., the E.U. and in Japan and said launches would begin immediately.
Boston Scientific also field a counterclaim, accusing Vascular Solutions and its GuideLiner catheter of violating a Boston Scientific patent that recently expired, according to Vascular Solutions’ report. Boston Scientific filed the claim on July 11, asking the court to award unspecified damages as well as legal fees.
"Without going into litigation details, we believe that this is a clear case of patents and the copyright infringement that should be subject to an injunction stopping sale and use of Guidezilla," Root said during an earnings call this week. "However, rulings of patent litigation are always unpredictable. So we are also prepared to compete against what might become our 1st ever competition for GuideLiner."
GuideLiner is currently Vascular Solutions’ 2nd-highest selling product, Root noted.
Vascular Solutions is also the subject of a lawsuit filed by Terumo, which accused Vascular Solutions of violating both patent and trademark rights with the R-Band radial compression device. Terumo claimed that the Vascular Solutions’ R-Band is a trademark violation of Terumo’s TR-Band and that the device violates Terumo’s product patents.
Terumo in March asked a court to issue an injunction preventing Vascular Solutions from selling R-Band, and in May Vascular Solutions agreed, without admitting any wrongdoing, to stop selling R-Band during the course of the lawsuit. The concession came shortly after Vascular Solutions introduced its Vasc Band product.