The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has vacated a lower court ruling that U.S. Surgical did not infringe on a patent owned by Applied Medical, and sent the case back to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California for review.
In rendering its decision, the appeals court concluded that "there are genuine issues of material fact regarding infringement of the '553 patent'" regarding U.S. Surgical's VERSAPORT PLUS trocar. Applied filed its original lawsuit against U.S. Surgical in 2003 to protect its patent for the "Trocar With Floating Septum Seal."
A trocar is a sharp-pointed instrument used with a flexible tube (cannula) device to drain fluid from a body cavity, duct, or vessel or to administer medication. The device is used during laparoscopic surgery, a minimally invasive technique that employs a video camera to transmit images from within a patient's abdomen, allowing the surgeon to view the inside of the body from a monitor.
The appeals court decision can be viewed at http://www.fedcir.gov/opinions/05-1314.pdf (http://www.fedcir.gov/opinions/05-1314.pdf).