A Delaware federal jury awarded Masimo Corp. $466.7 million last month against Philips Electronics North America Corp. for its infringement of two patents for measuring blood oxygen levels. Philips’ arguments that the patents were invalid were rejected. Philips admitted it directly and indirectly infringed all of Masimo’s asserted claims, but argued the patents were not valid. But the jury found for Masimo finding that its patents were valid. The jury found the patents were not anticipated, indefinite, obvious, enabled or improperly written.
The jury also found that Philips had not proved that Masimo literally or indirectly infringed Philips’ own patent for measuring medical signals. Philips had denied infringement for 13 years, before finally admitting it just before a pretrial conference in August. U.S. District Judge Leonard P. Stark instructed the jury that:
Philips admitted that it knew about Masimo’s patent claims and knowingly caused third parties to use Philips’ oxygen measurement technology in a way specifically meant to cause infringement.
Philips’ IntelliVue line of patient monitors and MMS X2 line of transport monitors contained that technology, called FAST-Sp02, according to Masimo. Masimo first accused Philips in February 2009 of infringing 10 patents focusing on the use of the technology in pulse oximeters. A fixture in clinics and hospitals, pulse oximeters are medical devices that measure the level of oxygen in a patient’s blood. Masimo said its units are made of two parts linked by a patented connection technology: an inexpensive sensor, which shines light through a patient’s’ tissue, and a more costly monitor, which provides the actual readings.
After Masimo filed suit in 2009, Philips responded with antitrust counterclaims that Masimo allegedly employed a proprietary system in its devices, with no purpose other than to hamper competition in contravention of the Sherman and Clayton acts. The Masimo patents-in-suit are U.S. Patent Numbers 6,263,222 and 7,215,984. The Philips patent-in-suit is U.S. Patent Number 6,725,074. The case is in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. According to reports, Philips plans to appeal.
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