February 2012

February 21, 2012, by Mandour & Associates, APC

San Diego – Qualcomm is scheduled to appear at a Markman hearing as a defendant in a patent infringement lawsuit brought against it by ParkerVision, Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of semiconductor technology solutions for wireless applications.

The Markman hearing, which is also known as a patent claim construction hearing, is scheduled for August 10, 2012. At the hearing, the judge will be asked to issued rulings regarding the language and interpretation of the ParkerVision patents that were allegedly infringed by Qualcomm. In patent infringement cases, Markman hearings are considered a critical event and in this case will define the patent rights for the technologies that ParkerVision has developed and has exclusive rights to.

The judge’s rulings in the upcoming Markman hearings will influence and shape many aspects of the litigation. The jury trial for this patent infringement case is scheduled to begin in August, 2013.

“We are passionate about the technology that ParkerVision has developed, and we are committed to protecting our patented innovations from unauthorized use,” stated ParkerVision Chairman and CEO, Jeffrey L. Parker. “We look forward to showing the court and jury how Qualcomm is using ParkerVision’s technology despite the legal patent protections that we have expended a great deal of time and capital to secure. This firm timeline means that we will soon get our day in court.”

Other recent developments in the lawsuit include the court’s dismissal of Qualcomm’s motion for injunctive relief. The court instead approved a protective order which both parties negotiated and agreed on. The protective order will allow ParkerVision’s patent prosecution counsel to continue delivering legal advice and services to ParkerVision as long as they do not represent the company in the lawsuit or advise it regarding Qualcomm’s alleged infringement.

These recent developments are a result of ParkerVision’s July 2011 patent infringement complaint against Qualcomm on the grounds that Qualcomm’s past and current chipset products infringe several ParkerVision patents related to radio-frequency receivers and the down-conversion of electromagnetic signals.

ParkerVision is reportedly seeking both monetary damages as well as a permanent injunction banning the production and sales of the Qualcomm infringing products.

February 10, 2012, by Mandour & Associates, APC

San Diego – This week a court in San Diego ruled against CareFusion in its patent infringement lawsuit against Sigma International General Medical Apparatus, LLC. CareFusion, which is based in San Diego, failed to convince jurors that Sigma had infringed its patent for technology used in its intravenous infusion pumps.

In its case, CareFusion reportedly asked the jury to award it compensation of $171 million for lost profits on the sales of its competing infusion pumps, lost sales of related products and services, and a royalty on the remaining sales of the Sigma Spectrum pumps. Sigma International denied the claims at trial.

“I did not think that we were infringing,” said Roger Hungerford, president of Medina, New York-based Sigma International, after the jury’s verdict was read. “We try real hard to respect all competitors’ intellectual property and if we think we might be infringing something, we would design around it.”

The San Diego patent attorney representing CareFusion in the case had no immediate response to the verdict. CareFusion will most likely appeal the verdict in a higher court.

The patent at issue in the lawsuit involves technology for a force-sensor assembly for infusion pumps used in the health-care industry, according to court documents. Both CareFusion and Sigma International manufacture, market, and sell infusion pumps, which control the amount and rate of the flow of liquid nutrition and drugs administered to a patient via intravenous tubing.

The complaint was initially filed in a United States District Courthouse in February, 2010. In response to the claims alleging infringement of the patent, Sigma International responded by filing an answer to the claims and a motion for declaratory judgment of non-infringement and invalidity. After undergoing reexamination by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the patent case was moved to a San Diego courthouse to be decided by a federal jury.

Founded as a spin-off of Cardinal Health in 2009, CareFusion manufacturers pumps and other products designed to reduce medication dispensing errors and prevent health care-associated infections. The company’s product portfolio includes brands used by health care providers worldwide, including hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, government health departments, and health insurance providers.

Upon news of the verdict, CareFusion’s stock dropped as much as one percent on Wednesday’s close of $24.92 on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

February 1, 2012, by Mandour & Associates, APC

San Diego – At a hearing last week in San Diego, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Anello upheld a September verdict in a patent infringement lawsuit against NuVasive, Inc. and denied the company’s request to grant it a new trial.

The patent infringement lawsuit, filed by Medtronic, Inc., resulted in a $101.2 million jury verdict against NuVasive over its infringement of spinal surgery patents. The large damages verdict is reportedly the eighteenth largest jury award in the United States for 2011, and the fourth-largest verdict for a patent infringement claim.

After the verdict was read, San Diego-based NuVasive claimed that it never infringed on the patents and that the evidence presented to the jury did not support its verdict. Rejecting NuVasive’s attempts to invalidate one of the patents in question, the judge also denied Medtronic’s request for a permanent injunction that would ban NuVasive from selling devices that were found to infringe its patents.

In addition, the judge upheld the jury’s damage award of $660,000 to NuVasive for Medtronic’s infringement of one of its patents. “We respectfully differ with some of the rulings and are in the process of assessing our options going forward,” stated a patent attorney for Medtronic in an interview after the hearing.

The battle began in 2010 when Warsaw Orthopedic Inc., a division of the Minneapolis-based Medtronic, filed a complaint against NuVasive, accusing it of infringing three patents for surgical implants. One of the patents has the ability to be inserted translaterally between adjacent vertebrae in a plate and screw system for stabilizing vertebrae in the cervical spine, and contains a tissue retractor.

In the complaint, Medtronic maintained that as a result of NuVasive’s infringement of its patents, the company had suffered a substantial loss of profits of over $200 million.

Patent lawyers for NuVasive contended that none of the company’s spinal fusion products infringe the Medtronic patents. The attorneys added that the company’s technology is a result of independent development that was first put on the market in 2003, and eventually “changed the face of spinal surgery.” The defense also claimed that in 2003, Medtronic did not possess such technology.

No comment was available from NuVasive on the jury’s verdict.