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U.S. Patent Office Allows Significant New VNUS Patent
Friday, April 18, 2008
San Jose, CA -- VNUS Medical Technologies, Inc. today announced that the company has received a Notice of Allowability by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for a patent application that is a continuation of one of the three patents in the VNUS patent infringement lawsuit against suppliers of endovenous laser products.
The newly allowed VNUS patent application was filed as a continuation of VNUS's U.S. Patent No. 6,769,433 (the "'433 Patent"). The continuation patent uses the same patent specification as the '433 Patent and is published as patent publication number US 2004/0267258. VNUS has sued several endovenous laser manufacturers (Diomed, Inc., Angiodynamics, Inc., and Vascular Solutions, Inc.) for infringement of VNUS patents including the '433 Patent. That lawsuit is scheduled to begin trial against non-bankrupt defendants Angiodynamics and Vascular Solutions on June 23 of this year.
The newly allowed VNUS patent application contains claims that recite methods of applying energy from an elongate member leading to occlusion of a vein, where the elongate member may be a fiber optic and the energy may be light energy. Significantly, before deciding to allow the new VNUS patent, the Patent Office reviewed references that include those cited by the defendant endovenous laser companies during the patent litigation in their attempt to invalidate the '433 Patent.
Brian Farley, VNUS President and CEO, stated, "The decision by the U.S. Patent Office to grant a continuation of the '433 Patent in light of the references cited by our competitors is consistent with our long-standing contention that the patents asserted in our infringement suit are valid. Furthermore, we believe that the newly allowed claims further broaden our strong patent position and help to confirm that VNUS pioneered the key endovenous methods required to successfully treat venous reflux."
About VNUS Medical Technologies, Inc.
Founded in 1995 and headquartered in San Jose, California, VNUS Medical Technologies is a worldwide leader in medical devices for the minimally invasive treatment of venous reflux disease, a progressive condition that causes the varicose veins afflicting 25 million Americans. The pioneering company in the field, VNUS now offers the ClosureFAST system, which consists of a proprietary radiofrequency (RF) generator and proprietary disposable endovenous catheters and devices to close diseased veins through the application of temperature-controlled RF energy. VNUS devices have been used in more than 300,000 procedures worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.vnus.com/.
In addition to statements of historical facts or statements of current conditions, VNUS has made forward-looking statements in this press release. Actual results may differ materially from current expectations based on a number of factors outside VNUS's control, including possible future actions by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office concerning the patent application discussed herein and future rulings in our pending patent litigation. The reader is cautioned not to unduly rely on these forward-looking statements. VNUS expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as required by law.
Additional information concerning these and other risk factors can be found in press releases issued by VNUS and VNUS' periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including its Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 14, 2008. Copies of VNUS' press releases and additional information about VNUS are available on the corporate website at http://www.vnus.com/.
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