Sailing a sloop in a force 8 gale seems a wiser decision than launching a new business into the current economic headwinds. Yet, Cook Medical (Bloomington, IN) has done just that, announcing in February the debut of its interventional radiology strategic business unit. The SBU will invest significantly in new devices and technologies to support interventional radiologists performing oncology, nonvascular, venous, angiographic, and other IR medical procedures, according to Cook.
Despite the economic climate, Cook Medical believes it has a breeze at its back in the form of new products and growing global interest in IR, according to Dan Sirota, global business unit leader for interventional radiology. Longer life expectancies and cancer rates played a role in the decision to launch, notes Sirota.
Sirota declined to say how much Cook Medical would invest in devices and technology or how much the new launch cost the company, which is privately held. "I will tell you that the new business is the fourth largest of our nine businesses," he says. "It comes out already with a pretty healthy base [of operations]." [MORE]
IP Watch: AdvaMed Denounces Patent Reform Legislation
Stephen J. Ubl, president and CEO of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), has expressed concern over the Patent Reform Act of 2009.
"We believe the legislation is not in the best interests of American patients; it will weaken existing patent protections, and it will have an adverse effect on medical technology innovation," he said. "We are very concerned about the legislation's apportionment of damages provision. Patent reform legislation should not provide significant advantages to one business model at the expense of others, and this provision could limit the economic damages for which an infringer can be held accountable."
In addition, he said that a reduction in damages to the injured company serves to cheapen medical technology intellectual property and, in fact, could have the perverse consequence of encouraging infringement.
Ubl's remarks were in response to a hearing held by the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The final direction of patent reform, he said, could have serious implications on the U.S. medical technology industry's ability to continue to innovate and provide solutions not only to the challenges facing U.S patients, but for the healthcare system as a whole.
This issue's IP Watch offers more about the Smith & Nephew's case against KCI in Germany, as well as other recent litigation moves involving medtech intellectual properties. [MORE]
BIOMEDevice -- April 22-23, 2009 -- Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Boston, MA
Attend New England's new MD&M event! The BIOMEDevice exposition will include 300 leading suppliers to the medical device industry and the nation's top resources for biopharmaceutical and medical device design and manufacturing. For complete event details including expo hall highlights, a current list of exhibitors, information on the co-located BIOMEDevice Executive Forum, and easy online registration for free expo hall admission, visit www.BIOMEDeviceBoston.com. [MORE]