Medtronic, J&J Settle Infusion Pumps Patent Suit

Nancy Crotti

August 15, 2014

3 Min Read
Medtronic, J&J Settle Infusion Pumps Patent Suit

Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson have agreed to settle a patent infringement lawsuit involving insulin pumps.

On July 28, Judge Ronald Lew in U.S. District Court for California's Central District issued a joint stipulation, dismissing the lawsuit with prejudice. The agreement is confidential.

Minneapolis-based Medtronic's MiniMed alleged in the 2012 suit that J&J subsidiary Animas' OneTouch Ping glucose management system infringed nine MiniMed patents.

Animas denied infringing most of the MiniMed's patents and said it did not have enough information to form a belief about the truth of some of the allegations.

Medtronic subsequently withdrew two of the patents from the lawsuit, but continued to pursue monetary damages and injunctive relief. J&J (New Brunswick, NJ) reported the lawsuit's dismissal in its second quarter reportto the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.

It has been a lively legal year for companies that manufacture diabetes products. Medtronic in June agreed to a $2.8 million multi-state and federal settlement to resolve allegations concerning insulin infusion pumps. In the suit, filed by a former Medtronic employee in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, 36 states alleged that Medtronic's MiniMed improperly solicited Medicaid recipients to use its insulin infusion pumps, in violation of federal anti-solicitation rules. Medtronic then submitted fraudulent claims to the states' Medicaid programs to receive reimbursement for the replacement insulin pumps, according to a report by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office.

J&J found itself in more legal hot water last month when UniStrip Technologies LLC of Charlotte, NC, filed a federal antitrust lawsuit in Los Angeles against J&J's LifeScan.

According to a UniStrip statement announcing the lawsuit, LifeScan has allegedly taken anti-competitive measures by withholding rebates, cooperative marketing funds, and other incentives from wholesalers and retailers who offer UniStrip1 for sale. In November 2013, the FDA cleared UniStrip to market the low-cost blood glucose test strips, which are compatible with four of LifeScan's OneTouch Ultra blood glucose meters. 

In other legal wrangling over diabetes technology, on July 2, 2014, DexCom (San Diego, CA) and Abbott Diabetes Care, Inc. (Alameda, CA) settled a patent lawsuit Abbott had filed over continuous glucose monitoring products. The companies exchanged no money but agreed to share a royalty-free, cross-license of certain patents, according to Abbott also agreed to give DexCom a limited license to the patents that Abbott had alleged DexCom infringed.

DexCom granted Abbott a limited license to certain patents filed before January 1, 2005. The companies also agreed not to sue one another for infringing certain of their respective continuous glucose monitoring technology or to challenge any patent or patent application held by the other company, with limited exceptions, until 2021.

In March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Becton, Dickinson and Co. (Franklin Lakes, NJ) and Nova Biomedical Corp. (Waltham, MA)are not entitled to the extra $1.9 million in legal fees they had tried to collect for their long-running dispute over blood glucose test strip patents.  

Nancy Crotti is a contributor to Qmed and MPMN.

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About the Author(s)

Nancy Crotti

Nancy Crotti is a frequent contributor to MD+DI. Reach her at [email protected].

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