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Liebel-Flarsheim Co. v. Medrad, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

February 11, 2004, Decided

03-1082, 03-1165


 [***1803]   [*900]  BRYSON, Circuit Judge.

Appellants Liebel-Flarsheim Company and Mallinckrodt Inc. (collectively, "Liebel") filed an action against appellee Medrad, Inc., in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, No. C-1-98-858, charging Medrad with infringement of four of Liebel's patents. The patents claim certain methods and devices for use in connection with powered fluid injectors, which can be used to inject fluids into patients during medical procedures. One of the patents, U.S. Patent [**2]  No. 5,456,669 ("the '669 patent"), is drawn to methods of loading powered injectors from the front. A related patent, U.S. Patent No. 5,658,261 ("the '261 patent"), is drawn to front-loadable powered injectors and to disposable front-loadable syringes for use in such injectors. The other two patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 5,662,612 ("the '612 patent") and U.S. Patent No. 5,928,197 ("the '197 patent"), which are also related, are drawn to injectors and syringes for use in powered injectors, and to devices and methods for controlling the plunger drives in such powered injectors.

On motions for summary judgment, the district court ruled that Medrad did not infringe any of the asserted claims of the four Liebel patents. The district court based its summary judgment ruling on its construction of the asserted claims. In the case of the first two patents, the court concluded that the asserted claims required the use of pressure jackets around the syringes used in the powered injectors. In the case of the latter two patents, the court concluded that the asserted claims required that the powered injector directly use an electrical signal generated by a detector to compute values for various physical properties [**3]  of the syringes used in the injector. Because Medrad's accused injectors did not use pressure jackets and because the electrical signals in Medrad's devices were not directly used to compute any such values, the court granted summary judgment of noninfringement as to all of the claims set forth in Liebel's complaint. The court then dismissed the counterclaims, in which Medrad alleged that the asserted claims of the four patents were invalid. The court held that the counterclaims were moot in light of the court's noninfringement ruling. We reverse the grant of summary judgment and  [*901]  the dismissal of the counterclaims, and we remand for further proceedings.

Powered injectors are used in various medical applications, such as injecting contrast agents into the vascular systems of patients who undergo certain diagnostic imaging procedures. A powered injector ordinarily uses a motor drive that is attached to a syringe plunger. The drive pulls the plunger rearward to draw contrast agent into the syringe and then drives the plunger forward to inject contrast agent through a tube and into the patient. The contrast agent is usually injected into the patient under high pressure.

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358 F.3d 898 *; 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 2218 **; 69 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1801 ***

LIEBEL-FLARSHEIM COMPANY and MALLINCKRODT INC., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. MEDRAD, INC., Defendant-Cross Appellant.

Subsequent History: Rehearing denied by, Rehearing, en banc, denied by Liebel-Flarsheim Co. v. Medrad, Inc., 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 8423 (Fed. Cir., Apr. 2, 2004)

US Supreme Court certiorari denied by Medrad, Inc. v. Liebel-Flarsheim Co., 543 U.S. 925, 125 S. Ct. 316, 160 L. Ed. 2d 223, 2004 U.S. LEXIS 6714 (2004)

Summary judgment granted by, Summary judgment denied by Liebel-Flarsheim Co. v. Medrad Inc., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25733 (S.D. Ohio, Oct. 28, 2005)

Prior History:  [**1]  Appealed from: United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Judge Sandra S. Beckwith.

Liebel-Flarsheim Co. v. Medrad Inc., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8891 (S.D. Ohio, May 14, 2002)Liebel-Flarsheim Co. v. Medrad Inc., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4046 (S.D. Ohio, Feb. 19, 2002)

Disposition: Reversed and remanded.


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Patent Law, Infringement Actions, Claim Interpretation, General Overview, US Patent & Trademark Office Proceedings, Examinations, Specifications, Description Requirement, Inequitable Conduct, Effect, Materiality & Scienter, Reissue Proceedings