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Press Releases

Fish Wins Jury Trial for Fresenius Medical Care

July 30, 2010

Press Releases

Fish Wins Jury Trial for Fresenius Medical Care

July 30, 2010

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Boston, MA, July 30, 2010 – Fish & Richardson won a major victory this week for Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA when a jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California completely rejected claims of patent infringement made by Baxter Healthcare Corporation and DEKA Products, Ltd against the Liberty Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) Cycler designed and produced by its wholly owned subsidiary, Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. dba Fresenius Medical Care North America. The patents, 5,421,823 and 6,814,547, asserted by Baxter and DEKA related to PD cycler pump design.

Baxter had claimed that Fresenius Medical Care’s Liberty PD machine infringed a Baxter and a DEKA patent, which both involve the design of the pump that fills and drains PD solution from patients. The DEKA patent is most closely related to Baxter’s Home Choice PD cycler that was originally developed by DEKA in the late 1980s. Fresenius Medical Care demonstrated that the Liberty Cycler utilizes mechanical means to operate the pump that fills and drains patients and in no way was a copy of Baxter’s Home Choice cycler.

The jury returned a unanimous verdict on July 28 of no infringement on every count after deliberating less than a day in Oakland, California following a nearly four week trial. This verdict confirms Fresenius Medical Care’s long-held view that it did not infringe any of the patents in suit. Baxter had been seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief.

“We are gratified that the jury has sided with Fresenius Medical Care in its defense of its Liberty Cycler against charges of patent infringement. We knew all along that these claims were baseless and without merit,” said Juanita Brooks, Fish & Richardson principal and lead trial counsel on the case. “This is a victory not only for Fresenius Medical Care, but for the thousands of individuals undergoing dialysis because of chronic kidney failure who will continue to have access to Fresenius Medical Care’s unparalleled track record of safety and performance for its services, equipment and supplies.”

Lead counsel Juanita Brooks was assisted on the case by Fish & Richardson principals Michael Florey and Tom Melsheimer and Matt Samuel.

This jury verdict comes on the heels of another big win for Fresenius Medical Care related to other pending litigation with Baxter. On July 20, 2010, the Patent Office’s Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences dismissed Baxter’s request for a rehearing of the appeal of the reexamination decision invalidating the claims of the sole surviving patent, 5,247,434, in litigation over Baxter’s patents on hemodialysis (HD) machines with touch screens. Therefore, the final outcome of the Patent Office reexamination proceeding is that the ‘434 patent claims in suit are unpatentable and subject to cancellation. Two other patents (5,744,027 and 6,284,131) in the 2006 HD case were previously found invalid by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and in parallel reexamination proceedings. Baxter may file further appeals on the ‘434 patent. This case and the reexam proceedings were also handled by Fish & Richardson.

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