News | May 05, 2010

Marine Polymer Awarded $29.4 Million in Patent Infringement Suit

May 5, 2010 – A federal jury awarded more than $29.4 million in damages in a patent infringement lawsuit between two interventional cardiology access dressing manufacturers. Marine Polymer Technologies Inc. won its case against HemCon Medical Technologies Inc. April 29 .

The patent lawsuit, which was filed in March 2006, concerned biocompatible polymers that are used in hemostatic products designed to prevent severe blood loss. Marine Polymer sells, among other hemostatic products, the SyvekPatch, which has been used in more than 3 million cardiac catheterization procedures in hospitals throughout the country. HemCon, which obtained FDA clearance to sell its own products, using the SyvekPatch as a predicate device, sold hemostatic bandages since 2003, primarily to the military. In the last two years also made inroads into the civilian market, directly competing with Marine Polymer in the interventional cardiology market.

Over the course of this four-year-long litigation, the parties disputed many issues including the meaning of the claim terms, and various non-infringement and claim invalidity defenses raised by HemCon. Last year, the court found that HemCon's products infringe the asserted claims of Marine Polymer's patent on a summary judgment motion. This left as the only issues to be decided by the jury in Concord the validity of the asserted claims, and the amount of damages due to Marine Polymer for HemCon's infringement. On both issues, the jury sided with Marine Polymer.

The company said it also plans to seek accounting for HemCon's infringing sales in 2010, which were not included in the jury's verdict, and a permanent injunction to preclude further sales of HemCon’s products in the United States.

Both HemCon and Marine Polymer use chitosan compound to help clot blood, however the sources of the material differ. Marine Polymer uses cultures of marine micro algae, while HemCon uses chitosan derived from shrimp shells.

HemCon said this week it is requesting the Patent Office re-examine, and possibly invalidate or limit, Marine Polymer’s patent in light of prior publications about chitosan.

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