Hologic Wins San Diego Patent Fight With Becton Dickinson

By Joseph Mandour on October 4, 2012

medical-150x150 San Diego – Women’s health company Hologic Inc. announced Thursday that its Gen-Probe subsidiary secured a summary judgment win last week in its patent infringement lawsuit in San Diego federal court against Becton Dickinson over sexually transmitted disease tests, paving the way for a trial on damages.

Judge Roger T. Benitez found that the use of BD’s ProbeTec Qx CT/GC chlamydia and gonorrhea assays on the BD VIPER System with XTR Technology, and the use of BD’s GBS assays on the BD MAX System, infringe three of Gen-Probe’s patents covering automated nucleic acid testing.

The court also ruled that BD’s specimen collection products, used in conjunction with its ProbeTec Qx CT/GC assays, infringe another Gen-Probe patent covering penetrable caps.

Judge Benitez shut down BD’s summary judgment motion to dismiss Gen-Probe’s infringement claims based on an alleged lack of standing to sue, as well as BD’s summary judgment motions seeking to invalidate the asserted patents. He found that BD did not infringe a fourth automation patent and a second penetrable cap patent.

A jury trial on the remaining issues in the case is scheduled to begin on Dec. 4. The issues to be decided at trial include whether BD is liable for inducing its customers to infringe Gen-Probe’s patents, whether BD’s infringement has been willful, and the monetary damages owed Gen-Probe. BD’s defenses, which include challenges to Gen-Probe’s standing to sue and the validity of the patents, will also be heard.

Gen-Probe has asked Judge Benitez to treble the monetary damages and enter a permanent injunction to prevent further infringement, Hologic said.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision, which we believe places us in a strong position as we prepare for a jury trial on the remaining issues later this calendar year,” Hologic Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel Mark Casey said.

Gen-Probe, which was acquired by Hologic in August, originally filed its patent infringement lawsuit against BD in October 2009.

Hologic suffered a loss in another major medical patent lawsuit in September, when a Massachusetts federal jury handed down a $4 million verdict in favor of Smith & Nephew Inc. in its patent infringement case against Hologic over a medical tissue removal device.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement