News Feature | October 21, 2014

J&J Slapped With Injunction In Covidien Patent Case

By Jof Enriquez,
Follow me on Twitter @jofenriq


A federal district court granted a preliminary injunction sought by Covidien against a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson related to the alleged infringement of three surgical device patents held by Covidien.

The decision by the U.S. District Court in Connecticut prevents J&J’s unit Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. from making, marketing, and selling the ultrasonic surgical tool Harmonic ACE+7 Shears, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Covidien operates within a highly competitive global health care environment. We are pleased that the court has recognized the value of our intellectual property. As demonstrated by our actions, we will vigorously protect our innovative products, solutions and intellectual property,” Chris Barry, president, Advanced Surgical, Covidien, said in a statement.

J&J said it would appeal the court’s decision, and pointed out that the suit does not involve Harmonic ACE+7’s adaptive tissue technology, which the company says is the product’s innovative feature, according to the WSJ report.

In the suit filed against Ethicon in June, Covidien alleged that the J&J subsidiary’s Harmonic ACE+7 infringed on three U.S. patents, namely 6,063,050, 6,468,286, and 6,682,544. In another Covidien announcement, the company said that the same court had earlier ruled that the patents were infringed by other Ethicon surgical ultrasonic devices.

“The federal court in Connecticut has previously recognized the value of Covidien’s intellectual property in this area and, with this new lawsuit, we will continue to vigorously protect both our innovations and intellectual property,” Lawrence Weiss, vice president and general counsel, Surgical Solutions, Covidien, said in the statement.

The WSJ reported that Covidien won the original suit in March 2013, when the same federal court ruled that “Ethicon’s ultrasonic cutting and coagulation surgical devices infringed on the same patents” and awarded Covidien $176.5 million in damages. J&J is currently appealing that ruling.

Covidien also won another court battle against Ethicon in January, when a federal court in Ohio ruled that Covidien did not infringe on seven Ethicon patents, and that five of the Ethicon patents were invalid, according to Law360. That meant that Covidien was allowed to continue manufacturing and selling its Sonicision Cordless Ultrasonic Dissection Device.