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Abiomed, Inc. v. Maquet Cardiovascular LLC

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

May 22, 2019

ABIOMED, INC., Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant,
v.
MAQUET CARDIOVASCULAR LLC, Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant/ Counter-Claimant,
v.
ABIOMED EUROPE GMBH, Third-Party Defendant,
v.
ABIOMED R&D, INC., Third-Party Defendant/ Counter-Claimant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND/OR CLARIFICATION OF ORDER ON CLAIM CONSTRUCTION

          F. Dennis Saylor, IV United States District Judge.

         This is an action for patent infringement. Defendant Maquet Cardiovascular, LLC owns six patents directed to guidable intravascular blood pumps and related methods. Plaintiff Abiomed, Inc. filed this action seeking declaratory judgment that it does not infringe those patents and that they are invalid.

         The parties submitted proposed claim constructions of eighteen terms or groups of terms. After a Markman hearing, the Court issued its claim-construction opinion on September 7, 2018.

         Maquet has filed a motion seeking reconsideration and/or clarification of one of the 18 disputed claim term groups. Specifically, Maquet seeks to have the Court revisit its construction of the “passing purge fluid” terms, which is set forth at pages 56 to 59 of the claim-construction opinion.

         In construing the “passing purge fluid” terms, the Court examined Maquet's statement during the '728 patent's IPR that “running purge fluid through . . . bearings and into the bloodstream . . . is a bad idea.” (Mem. & Ord. at 57). That statement, the court wrote, “clearly and unmistakably disparaged one-way systems in which the purge fluid runs both (1) through bearing assemblies and (2) into the blood stream.” (Id.). Thus, the Court concluded, the IPR statement “directly contradict[ed] statements in the specification that clearly contemplate passing purge fluid through ball bearing assemblies and into the bloodstream.” (Id.). “[F]aced with a direct contradiction between the specification” and the “disclaimer in the IPR, ” the Court decided that Abiomed's narrower construction of the “passing purge fluid” terms controlled. (Id. at 59).

         In seeking reconsideration of the Court's construction, Maquet contends that Abiomed failed to present the entirety of the section of the IPR brief from which its relevant statement was taken. Had the entire section been presented, Maquet contends, its IPR statement would have clearly been understood to have only been speaking about Abiomed's specific “imaginary” version of a prior reference called Aboul-Hosn, and not generally about systems that contemplate passing purge fluid through any part of any bearing assemblies. (Def. Mem. at 12).

         Specifically, Maquet contends that Abiomed interpreted Aboul-Hosn as describing a system in which purge fluid is passed through a gap between a shaft and the inner surfaces of bearings and a magnetic rotor. (Id.). It contends that its invention, as described in the specification, “pass[es] purge fluid through bearing assemblies designed to receive purge fluid.” (Id. at 15). Accordingly, Maquet contends, its system and Abiomed's “imaginary” system are “very different, ” and thus its IPR statement “should not be expanded” to be understood as a disparagement of the systems described by its patents. (Id.).

         For the following reasons, the motion for reconsideration will be denied.

         I. Background

         The facts underlying the Court's claim-construction opinion are set out at length in its Memorandum and Order of September 7, 2018. Familiarity with that opinion is assumed. Some of the background facts relevant to the present motion are repeated below.

         A. Parties

         Plaintiff Abiomed, Inc. is a manufacturer of the “Impella” line of intravascular blood pumps, which it has been marketing since June 2008.

         Defendant Maquet Cardiovascular LLC is the owner of several patents directed to intravascular blood pumps, including the six at issue in this case.

         B. The ...


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