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Covidien LP v. Advanced Skeletal Innovations LLC

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

February 25, 2015

COVIDIEN LP f/k/a TYCO HEALTHCARE GROUP LP, a Delaware limited partnership, Plaintiff,
v.
ADVANCED SKELETAL INNOVATIONS LLC, a Texas limited liability company; and BONUTTI SKELETAL INNOVATIONS LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Defendants

Page 28

For COVIDIEN LP, A Delaware Limited Partnership, formerly known as TYCO HEALTHCARE GROUP LP, Plaintiff: Brian C. Bianco, Kasey M. Folk, Michael D. Switzer, Scott A. Meyers, Stacy A. Baim, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, AKERMAN LLP, Chicago, IL; John J. Dabney, Mary Declan Hallerman, LEAD ATTORNEYS, MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY, Washington, DC; Robyn M. Bowland, LEAD ATTORNEY, AKERMAN LLP, Chicago, IL.

For ADVANCED SKELETAL INNOVATIONS LLC, A Texas limited liability company, BONUTTI SKELETAL INNOVATIONS LLC, A Delaware limited liability company, Defendants: Cary Kappel, Leslye B. Davidson, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, DAVIDSON, DAVIDSON & KAPPEL, LLC, New York, NY; Todd H. Flaming, LEAD ATTORNEY, KRAUSFLAMING LLC, Chicago, IL; William Christian Gehris, LEAD ATTORNEY, DAVIDSON, DAVIDSON & KAPPEL, LLC, New York, NY.

For ADVANCED SKELETAL INNOVATIONS LLC, Counter Claimant: Cary Kappel, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, DAVIDSON, DAVIDSON & KAPPEL, LLC, New York, NY; Todd H. Flaming, LEAD ATTORNEY, KRAUSFLAMING LLC, Chicago, IL; William Christian Gehris, LEAD ATTORNEY, DAVIDSON, DAVIDSON & KAPPEL, LLC, New York, NY.

For BONUTTI SKELETAL INNOVATIONS LLC, Counter Claimant: Todd H. Flaming, LEAD ATTORNEY, KRAUSFLAMING LLC, Chicago, IL; William Christian Gehris, LEAD ATTORNEY, DAVIDSON, DAVIDSON & KAPPEL, LLC, New York, NY.

For COVIDIEN LP, formerly known as TYCO HEALTHCARE GROUP LP, Counter Defendant: John J. Dabney, Mary Declan Hallerman, LEAD ATTORNEYS, MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY, Washington, DC; Kasey M. Folk, Michael D. Switzer, Scott A. Meyers, Stacy A. Baim, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, AKERMAN LLP, Chicago, IL.

Page 29

MEMORANDUM OPINION

REGGIE B. WALTON, United States District Judge.

The plaintiff, Covidien LP, formerly known as Tyco Healthcare Group LP, filed this civil action against the defendants, Advanced Skeletal Innovations LLC and Bonutti Skeletal Innovations LLC, seeking declaratory relief. Complaint (" Compl." ) ¶ ¶ 1, 4. Specifically, the plaintiff seeks a declaration that its surgical products do not infringe certain patents owned and licensed by the defendants: U.S. Patent No. 5,674,240 (filed June 6, 1995) (" '240 Patent" ), U.S. Patent No. 5,961,499 (filed June 6, 1995) (" '499 Patent" ), and U.S. Patent No. 6,338,730

Page 30

(filed June 6, 1995) (" '730 Patent" ) (collectively, " patents-in-suit" ). See id. ¶ ¶ 1-4. This matter is currently before the Court for the resolution of the construction of certain disputed claim terms in the patents-in-suit. To assist the Court in resolving these disputes, a claim construction hearing was held on December 10, 2014. See December 10, 2014 Transcript of Markman Hearing (" Hr'g Tr." ) at 1. Upon careful consideration of the parties' submissions,[1] as well as their oral arguments presented during the hearing, the Court adopts the constructions as described below.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The patents-in-suit " generally relate to cannulas for surgical and medical use." Defs.' Mem. at 2; see also Pl.'s Mem. at 4. Cannulas are " tube[s] that can be inserted into the body, often for the delivery or removal of fluid, to create a bigger workspace, or for the gathering of data." Defs.' Mem. at 2; see also Pl.'s Mem. at 4. Specifically, the patents-in-suit claim expandable cannulas, see, e.g.,'240 Patent, at [54], as well as methods of using expandable cannulas, see '730 Patent, at [54]. The patents-in-suit are in the same patent family--that is, they share a common parent application and patent: U.S. Patent Application No. 08/013,942, which is now U.S. Patent No. 5,320,611 (filed Feb. 4, 1993) (" '611 Patent" ). See '240 Patent, at [60]; '499 Patent, at [60]; '730 Patent, at [60]; see also Corrected Answer and Counterclaim (" Countercl." ) at 10, 24-25.

This action came to the Court by way of a dispute between the parties regarding whether the plaintiff owed the defendants certain royalties under a particular licensing agreement involving the patents-in-suit.[2] See Compl. ¶ ¶ 1-4; see also id. ¶ ¶ 16-26. The defendants have filed counterclaims against the plaintiff, alleging infringement of the patents-in-suit and breach of contract. See Countercl. at 28-32. The chart below identifies the ...


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