Los Angeles—Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) is pleased to announce that the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington’s ruling that Vancouver-based medical manufacturer Medtrica Solutions Ltd. did not infringe a U.S. patent asserted by Cygnus Medical LLC. The District Court also awarded Medtrica over $122,000 in attorneys’ fees for defending against Cygnus Medical’s charges of infringement.
At issue was a patent claimed by Cygnus directed to endoscope pre-cleaning kits. Cygnus accused Medtrica, and Medtrica’s U.S. based customer STERIS Corp., of patent infringement, and sought damages, an injunction, and an award of its attorneys’ fees based upon sales of Medtrica’s Appli-Kit™ products. Medtrica obtained the reverse – summary judgment of non-infringement, which was subsequently affirmed by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
In addition, Medtrica was able to convince the District Court, located in Seattle, Washington, that Cygnus’ case was exceptional, in that it was uncommonly weak and unsupported by any evidence. As stated by Medtrica’s lead counsel Rod Berman of JMBM, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Octane Fitness ruling instructs federal courts to use their discretion in determining whether a case is exceptional, and we believed that such a finding was appropriate in this case.” The District Court agreed, finding the case exceptional and awarding attorneys’ fees to Medtrica.
Robert Penz, president of Medtrica, summed it up as follows: “While litigation is different under the U.S. system than it is in Canada, my company was still able to use the U.S. system to defeat the baseless claims of a U.S. patent holder, and defend the right of our customer STERIS to sell our products in the U.S.”