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Koninklijke Philips, Nv. v. Zoll Medical Corporation

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

January 30, 2015

KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS, NV. and PHILIPS ELECTRONICS NORTH AMERICA CORPORATION, Plaintiffs,
v.
ZOLL MEDICAL CORPORATION, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

NATHANIEL M. GORTON, District Judge.

Philips Electronics North America Corporation and its parent company Koninklijke Philips, N.V. (collectively, "Philips") brought suit against defendant ZOLL Medical Corporation ("ZOLL") in December, 2012, alleging infringement of six patents relating to cardiac defibrillation technology. Two patents remain at issue and trial is scheduled to begin in March, 2015.

Pending before the Court is defendant's motion for summary judgment of non-infringement and limitation on damages on U.S. Patent Nos. 7, 463, 922 ("the 922 patent") and 5, 441, 520 ("the 520 patent"). For the reasons that follow, the motion will be allowed, in part, and denied, in part.

I. Background

A. Overview of the technology

The patents-in-suit are directed to external cardiac defibrillators, which are medical devices that can deliver an electrical shock through electrodes placed on the torso of a patient who is experiencing ventricular fibrillation ("VF"), i.e. a rapid, erratic heartbeat. The electrodes sense the patient's heart rhythm to determine if it is "shockable, " i.e. susceptible to correction with a defibrillator. The heart rhythm may be displayed on an electrocardiogram ("ECG").

ZOLL's defibrillators have two different modes for analyzing a patient's ECG signal: 1) the background mode ("BG mode") or "continuous analysis mode" is designed for use when the patient may be in motion and 2) the foreground mode ("FG mode") or "single analysis mode" is designed for use when the patient is still. Only the BG mode in ZOLL's devices is accused of infringing the 922 patent.

When VF is detected in BG mode, ZOLL's defibrillators inform the user through a "CHECK PATIENT" prompt. At such time, the operator has at least two options for delivering the shock. First, she can press the "Charge" button to charge the capacitor and then the "Shock" button to deliver the shock to the patient. Alternatively, the operator can press the "Analyze" button which will activate FG mode and automatically charge the capacitor if a shockable rhythm is confirmed. The shock can then be delivered by pushing the "Shock" button. Both options can deliver a shock within 10 seconds of seeing the CHECK PATIENT message.

B. Patents-in-suit

The 922 patent describes an automatic external defibrillator ("AED") for use by persons with minimal medical training.

The 520 patent discloses a defibrillator system that uses an analog-to-digital converter in the defibrillator base unit to identify automatically the attached electrode type (external paddles, internal paddle or pads).

Philips accuses ZOLL's AED Pro, AED Plus, E, M, R and X series products of infringing the '922 patent and ZOLL's E, M, R and X series products of infringing the '520 patent.

II. Defendant's motion for summary judgment

A. Legal standard for resolving summary judgment motions

The role of summary judgment is "to pierce the pleadings and to assess the proof in order to see whether there is a genuine need for trial." Mesnick v. Gen. Elec. Co., 950 F.2d 816, 822 (1st Cir. 1991) (quoting Garside v. Osco Drug, Inc., 895 F.2d 46, 50 (1st Cir. 1990)). The burden is on the moving party to show, through the pleadings, discovery and affidavits, "that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).

A fact is material if it "might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). "Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted." Id . A genuine issue of material fact exists where the evidence with respect to the material fact in dispute "is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Id.

Once the moving party has satisfied its burden, the burden shifts to the non-moving party to set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine, triable issue. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986). The Court must view the entire record in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and make all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. O'Connor v. Steeves, 994 F.2d 905, 907 (1st Cir. 1993). Summary judgment is appropriate if, after viewing the record in the nonmoving party's favor, the Court determines that no genuine issue of material fact exists and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

B. Non-infringement

1. Legal standard

An infringement analysis requires 1) the Court to determine, as a matter of law, the meaning and scope of the patent claims asserted to be infringed and 2) the trier of fact to compare the properly construed claims to the device accused of infringing. Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967, 976 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (en banc), aff'd, 517 U.S. 370 (1996). Summary judgment of non-infringement is appropriate where, "on the correct claim construction, no reasonable jury could have found infringement" on the undisputed facts or when ...


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