A federal appeals court gave Cook Medical and Medtronic wins in separate patent disputes with Endotach this month.
In a terse May 6 decision, a three-member panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a finding in a dispute involving the ’154 and ’417 patents, which were licensed to Acacia Research by the inventor’s widow. Acacia is the parent of Endotach and bills itself as “an intermediary in the patent market.”
Frisco, Texas-based Endotach had sought damages for alleged patent infringement related to Cook’s sales of the following grafts for vascular procedures: Zenith AAA, Zenith Flex, Zenith Renu, Zenith Fenestrated and Zenith TX2. A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana was not persuaded by Endotach’s arguments, ruling in Cook’s favor in January 2015.
Cook wasn’t the only company hauled into court for allegedly infringing these patents, with Endotach also suing Medtronic over sales of the Endurant and Endurant II AAA stent grafts. The suit was transferred from Florida to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, where Medtronic requested a stay to allow for the completion of a review by the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board of all claims asserted by Endotach related to the ’417 patent. Endotach had dropped the other patent from the dispute.
The request, which Endotach did not fight, was granted. In March 2015, the PTAB ruled that each of the asserted claims of the ’417 patent are unpatentable, a decision the company appealed to the Federal Circuit. However, the three-judge panel seemingly was not impressed with Endotach’s arguments, offering no explanation in a May 6 ruling in Medtronic’s favor.
In June 2012, Endotach sued W.L. Gore in Florida for infringing the patents. It voluntarily dismissed the case with prejudice in October of that year.