A Medical Device Daily

Smith & Nephew's (S&N; Hull, UK) Advanced Wound Management business reported that the Patents Court, in the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, has ruled as invalid seven out of the 10 claims asserted against S&N on the Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) patent EP 0620720, that is licensed to Kinetic Concepts (KCI; San Antonio). The three other claims asserted in the patent remain in effect in the UK.

The decision is subject to appeal and S&N will be pursuing its appeal to invalidate those three claims as a matter of urgency.

S&N said that it is pleased that this judgment has invalidated the main claim of the EP 0620720 patent. This complements the German decision of March 2009 where at the Federal Munich Patent Court the court ruled (subject to appeal) that all claims of the patent are invalid.

"We will continue to serve the United Kingdom NPWT market and offer the new Renasys EZ, Renasys GO and Renasys-G (gauze) NPWT products. Smith & Nephew remains committed to our strategy to ensure that clinicians have a range of treatment options. This ruling has no impact on Smith & Nephew's ability to sell gauze-based NPWT systems, and we will continue our efforts to ensure that clinicians have options in NPWT. We intend to pursue the remaining asserted claims as a matter of urgency," said Robin Carlstein, senior vice president of Advanced Wound Devices at Smith & Nephew.

Kinetic Concepts said the patent at issue in the case is exclusively licensed to KCI from Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) Health Sciences.

"We are pleased that the British Court has affirmed the validity of these key claims of the Wake Forest patent," said Catherine Burzik, KCI's president/CEO. "Millions of patients have benefited from KCI's V.A.C. therapy technology, which is protected by the patent enforced by the UK Court today. We will continue to invest in new technology and the enforcement of our intellectual property rights, and we look forward to bringing new and innovative solutions to patients and caregivers in the future."

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