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19 December 2016Americas

Maquet sues former employee and new company for patent infringement

Medical device company Maquet Cardiovascular has filed a complaint against Saphena Medical, a company producing a system known as Venapax, for allegedly infringing its patents.

The case, which was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday, December 16, centres on US patent numbers 5,916,233; 6,705,986; and 7,534,243.

Maquet has also filed a complaint against Albert Chin, former chief innovation officer of Maquet, for allegedly failing to maintain confidentiality of information at the end of his employment with the company.

Chin and Maquet entered into several written agreements, including a confidential information and an invention assignment agreement, in May 2008.

These required Maquet and companies acquired by Maquet to hold proprietary, confidential, and trade secret information in confidence, including any inventions made by Chin under his employment.

After Chin left Maquet, he founded a medical device incubator, Pavilion, and in 2013 co-founded Saphena “as one of the companies incubated by Pavilion”.

Saphena later designed the allegedly infringing product, Venapax, which is an “endoscopic vessel harvesting tool”, and allegedly began to market and sell it to the same customers as Maquet.

According to Maquet, this deprived it of sales.

Maquet has requested the court to enter a judgment that Saphena and Chin have infringed its patents and that Chin is liable for breach of contract.

It is also seeking an award of damages, a permanent injunction and a jury trial.

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