Los Angeles, CA—Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) is pleased to announce that the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington holding that Vancouver-based medical manufacturer Medtrica Solutions Ltd. did not infringe a U.S. patent asserted by Cygnus Medical LLC. The District Court also awarded Medtrica over $122,000 in attorneys’ fees for defending against Cygnus’s charges of infringement.
At issue was a patent claimed by Cygnus directed to endoscope pre-cleaning kits. Cygnus accused Medtrica, and Medtrica’s U.S. based customer STERIS Corp., of patent infringement, and sought damages, an injunction, and an award of its attorneys’ fees based upon sales of Medtrica’s Appli-Kit™ products. However, JMBM was successful in obtaining the reverse – summary judgment of non-infringement, on behalf of its client Medtrica, which was subsequently affirmed by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
In addition, Medtrica was able to convince the District Court, located in Seattle, Washington, that Cygnus’ case was exceptional – a necessary prerequisite to an award of attorneys’ fees – in that it was uncommonly weak and unsupported by any evidence. Lead counsel Rod Berman of JMBM stated “The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Octane Fitness ruling instructs federal courts to use their discretion in determining whether a case is exceptional, and we believed that such a finding was appropriate in this case.” The District Court agreed, finding the case exceptional, and awarding attorneys’ fees to Medtrica.
Robert Penz, president of Medtrica, summed it up as follows: “While litigation is different under the U.S. system than it is in Canada, my company was still able to use the U.S. system to defeat the baseless claims of a U.S. patent holder, and defend the right of our customer STERIS to sell our products in the U.S.”
About Medtrica Solutions Ltd.
Medtrica provides healthcare professionals with top quality medical products at an affordable price on a consistent basis. For more information, go to www.medtrica.com.
About JMBM’s Intellectual Property Group
JMBM’s IP lawyers handle patents, trademarks, copyrights, domain names, trade dress, trade secrets, and related licensing and litigation. Our representation spans the industrial spectrum of products including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and sporting equipment. The Group’s attorneys are well-versed in a wide variety of technologies, including: chemistry/chemical engineering, biotechnology, materials science, computer science, medical and dental devices, electronics, mechanical engineering, business methods, e-commerce and many others. For more information go to www.jmbm.com.
Rod S. Berman
Chair, Intellectual Property Department