ATLANTA (March 8, 2007) – Attorneys from Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, representing Medrad Inc. in a long-running patent dispute with Tyco Healthcare Group LP, recently convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to reverse a district court ruling in the dispute that favored Tyco and to deny Tyco's request for a rehearing. Also representing Medrad were Reed Smith LLP and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.
The case originated in October 2001, when Medrad filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, alleging Tyco had infringed its reissue patent for an injection system used with MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) systems. Years earlier, Medrad had applied for the reissue patent to correct an error made during prosecution of the original patent, where required supplemental declarations were inadvertently omitted. Both companies filed motions for summary judgment in the district court, and the court found in favor of Tyco in 2005, ruling that Medrad's patent was invalid because correcting the error of not filing supplemental reissue declarations was not a proper basis for seeking reissue under 35 U.S.C. §251.
Medrad's attorneys, including Sutherland Intellectual Property Partner Robert J. Waltersand Associate Charles J. Hawkins, along with co-counsel from Reed Smith and Akin Gump, appealed the ruling to the federal circuit, claiming that the district court was wrong when it concluded that the statute does not extend to reissues based on defects in inventor declarations. The federal circuit agreed, and reversed the district court decision and remanded the case back to the district court. The federal circuit recently rejected a petition by Tyco for a rehearing of the ruling.
"This was an intricate, specialized case, and we are grateful for the positive outcome," Mr. Walters said. "It is a testament to the skilled, attentive professionals we have at Sutherland and our co-counsel."
Sutherland's Intellectual Property Group added 11 lawyers in 2006, increasing the total of full-time attorneys in the five-year-old group to 50 – many of whom hold advanced technical degrees. The group's experience spans the industry, featuring technical patent prosecution and counseling knowledge, coupled with broad litigation experience in a number of areas, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical devices, computers, software, chemical technology, minerals and telecommunications.
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is an AmLaw 100 law firm known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the nation's largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to more than 450 lawyers with offices in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York, Tallahassee and Washington. For further information about the firm, please visit sutherland.com.