RyMed Technologies Emerges as Victor in Patent Infringement Case

Ruling in Case Involving ICU Medical Could End Legal Battle

Business Wire


A federal judge has found in favor of RyMed Technologies and against ICU Medical (ICUI) in a closely watched patent-infringement case concerning intravenous (IV) catheter safety technology.

The judge ruled ICU Medical had failed to prove that RyMed’s InVision-Plus® IV connector infringed a patent held by ICU Medical.

“This new ruling is particularly significant, because it means that virtually all the patent infringement issues raised by ICU Medical have been decided in RyMed’s favor,” said Dana Wm. Ryan, President and CEO of RyMed Technologies. “Ever since ICU Medical filed its patent infringement lawsuit against us in 2007, we have maintained that the claims were without merit. The judge has upheld that view, much as a unanimous federal jury did on a similar matter in 2012.”

The new ruling from Judge Leonard P. Stark dealt with the so-called “doctrine of equivalents,” which holds that if a product is found to be sufficiently similar to a patented invention, there may be infringement even if the product does not literally infringe the patent.

In the current case, however, Judge Stark ruled that because ICU Medical had previously narrowed its patent claims during the process of obtaining its patent, the company could not now claim that the doctrine of equivalents applied.

As a result of this most recent decision by the court and of the jury verdict in 2012, it is now clear that RyMed’s modified InVision-Plus technology products do not infringe ICU’s ’866 patent either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents, Ryan said. (It was previously determined in a 2010 trial that RyMed’s InVision-Plus technology products did infringe one claim of ICU’s ’862 patent, and that its original – and discontinued – product infringed ICU’s ’866 and ’862 patents.)

The judge’s most recent decision was announced Sept. 30 in the case heard in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. The patent in question was U.S. Patent Number 5,685,866. The case was ICU Medical Inc. v. RyMed Technologies Inc., case number 07--468-LPS.

A needleless IV connector is a small but crucial device that helps provide intermittent IV therapy, blood administration and/or blood draws for patients without the use of needles. The InVision-Plus Needleless IV connector was created to avoid design issues in previous needleless IV connector designs that potentially increase bloodstream infections and/or thrombotic occlusions. The RyMed InVision-Plus has a straight fluid pathway with no dead space so it is easy to flush clean. Other needleless IV connector designs could trap blood in the pathway, leading to biofilm formation and bacterial colonization.

About RyMed Technologies

Founded in 1994, RyMed Technologies specializes in the development and marketing of innovative safety products in the field of intravenous catheter care management. The company's products are designed to help reduce catheter occlusions, catheter-related bloodstream infections, and biofilm development commonly associated with vascular access devices. More than 10 years of research and development have gone into the InVision-Plus product line. Numerous studies regarding the efficacy of the InVision-Plus Needleless IV Connector have been published in the last six years -- which is particularly important in light of the growing incidence of CRBSIs.

The company is headquartered in Franklin, TN. For more information, access www.rymedtech.com or call (615) 790-8093.

Dowling & Dennis Public Relations
Liz Dowling, 415-388-2794
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