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Archived updates for Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Curved Catheter Equivalent to Catheter with Straight Portions

In Voda v. Cordis Corp. (Augsut 18, 2008), the Federal Circuit affirmed jury findings of infringement under the Doctrine of Equivalents under a "substantial evidence" standard of review.

According to the opinion by Circuit Judge Gajarsa,
As discussed, the only limitations that Cordis argues have no equivalent in its XB catheters are the second straight portion limitation of claim 1 of the ’625 patent and the first substantially straight leg limitation of all claims of the ’195 patent. However, we conclude that Voda introduced substantial evidence establishing that the redesigned curve portion of the XB catheter meets the straight and substantially straight limitations under the doctrine of equivalents.

One of Voda’s experts testified that the difference in shape between the redesigned curve portion and a straight portion was so insubstantial that cardiologists would have difficulty distinguishing the two during use. There was also testimony that the redesigned curve portion performed the same function as a straight portion, in the same way, to achieve the same result. First, one of Voda’s experts explained that the redesigned curve portion of the XB catheter provides the same function as the straight and substantially straight portions in Voda’s claims because it provides extra backup support for the catheter during use. Indeed, the name “XB” stands for “extra backup.” There was also testimony that Cordis’s substitution of the redesigned curve portion in the accused XB catheter made the product easier to manufacture, but did not alter the XB catheter’s functionality. Second, one of Voda’s experts testified that the redesigned curve portion of the XB catheter functions in the same way as the straight and substantially straight portions in Voda’s claims because it engages the wall of the aorta opposite the coronary ostium for a substantial length during use. The length of engagement by the redesigned curve portion during use was explained to be indistinguishable from the length of engagement in Voda’s claims. Third, there was testimony that the redesigned curve portion achieves the same result as the straight or substantially straight elements by making it “difficult to dislodge the guide catheter from its desired orientation” during use.

Given this record, we find that substantial evidence supports the jury’s findings that Cordis’s XB catheters infringe the straight and substantially straight claims of the ’625 and ’195 patents under the doctrine of equivalents. Accordingly, we affirm the jury’s findings of infringement with respect to these claims.
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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^Thanks!!

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April 06, 2009 11:29 PM  

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