San Diego Based CareFusion Loses Patent Infringement Lawsuit

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.