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Patent Litigators Score Victory for Covidienís U.S. Surgical Division Against Applied Medical

Friday, February 27, 2009

New York, NY – Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, a leading international law firm, announced today that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld a district court decision won on behalf of Covidien’s U.S. Surgical division, regarding its trocar medical instruments, devices used in laparoscopic surgery.

The ruling affirmed a judgment from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in April 2008, finding after a six-week trial that the valve in Covidien’s VersaPort™ Plus trocars did not infringe U.S. Patent No. 5,385,553 (the ‘533 patent), as alleged by plaintiff Applied Medical Resources Corp.

Applied Medical sought damages of more than $98 million, that the damages be trebled, and that Covidien be enjoined from making and selling its highly successful VersaPort™ Plus line of trocars. The Federal Circuit upheld the district court’s conclusion that the valve in Covidien’s trocar and the valve in the ring-levers-teeth structure in the ‘533 patent perform their functions in materially different ways, thus compelling a finding of no infringement.

The verdict in this case marked an important victory for Covidien, as this was the third time it had been sued by Applied for patent infringement on the same patent for the same product. Applied prevailed in both of the earlier cases, recovering total damages of over $85 million, but this time, Covidien was able to convince the jury that its redesign of the trocar valve did not infringe Applied’s patent. We believe this is the first time a company ever has won a patent infringement case concerning a product that earlier had been found to infringe the same patent.

Donald Morrow, a partner in Paul Hastings’ Litigation Department, represented Covidien at trial along with Fred Bartlit, Glen Summers and Sean Grimsley of Bartlit Beck.

Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP is a leading international law firm with offices in Asia, Europe, and the United States. We provide innovative legal solutions to financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies. Please visit for more information.

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