A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Siemens Medical Solutions (Malvern, Pennsylvania) reported reaching an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois to settle allegations made in an indictment filed in January.

SMS will plead guilty to a single federal criminal charge of obstruction of justice in connection with civil litigation that followed a competitive bid to provide radiology equipment to Cook County Hospital (Chicago) in 2001. In addition, SMS agreed to pay a fine of $1 million and restitution of about $1.5 million.

According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, Siemens Medical pleaded guilty to obstructing justice by providing false testimony before a federal judge and withholding records and documents in a lawsuit filed by rival GE Medical Systems (Waukesha, Wisconsin) against Cook County.

Siemens was charged with attempting to win a $49 million contract by entering into a sham agreement with minority-owned Faustech Industries, a local consulting firm.

Under the sham venture, Faustech’s owner, Faust Villazan, agreed to pose as Siemens’ minority business partner to meet the county’s requirement that a minority-owned business receive a portion of the work under the contract, the Tribune reported the plea agreement as stating.

In other legalities:

Medtronic (Minneapolis) has lost its appeal to revive a $51 million jury verdict against BrainLab (Munich, Germany) over image-guided surgical techniques.

Medtronic won the case at trial, In September, a Denver jury ruling that BrainLab had infringed four patents held or licensed by Medtronic and determined that a reasonable royalty on BrainLab product sales in the U.S. amounted to $51 million.

A federal judge in February then ruled that BrainLab’s image-guided surgery/radiotherapy products do not infringe any of the patents involved in the suit, determining that the evidence did not support a finding of infringement.

The U.S. Court of Appeals on Monday ruled that the judge was correct to say BrainLab didn’t infringe on four Medtronic patents.

The dispute is over medical products that use acoustics to let surgeons track the precise location of instruments while they are in a patient’s body during operations. Medtronic claimed that several BrainLab products infringed its patents.

BrainLab has its U.S. headquarters in Westchester, Illinois.