Cases & Deals

Marine Polymer awarded $29.4 million in patent infringement case against HemCon directed to biocompatible polymers

Client(s) Marine Polymer Inc.

On April 29, 2010, a federal jury in Concord, New Hampshire awarded over $29.4 million in damages in favor of Jones Day client, Marine Polymer Technologies, Inc. of Danvers, Massachusetts ("Marine Polymer"), in a patent infringement case against HemCon, Inc. based in Portland, Oregon ("HemCon"). The case is Marine Polymer Technologies, Inc. v. HemCon, Inc., Civil Action No. 06-CV-100-JD (D.N.H. April 29, 2010).

The patent infringement lawsuit, filed over four years ago, concerned biocompatible polymers that are used in hemostatic bandage products designed to prevent severe blood loss. Marine Polymer developed the patented technology in the early '90s and obtained, with the assistance of Jones Day prosecuting attorneys, a series of 15 issued U.S. patents, as well as corresponding international patents, covering different aspects of their invention. Marine Polymer and HemCon directly compete in various markets for hemostatic products.

Over the course of the litigation, which involved one of the 15 issued patents, the parties disputed many issues, completing two full Markman briefing cycles on the meaning of disputed claim terms, and filing multiple motions for summary judgment concerning various infringement- and validity-related issues. In October 2009, the district court found on summary judgment that HemCon's accused products infringe the asserted claims of Marine Polymer's patent. This left as the only issues to be decided by the jury in Concord the validity of the asserted claims, and the amount of damages due to Marine Polymer for HemCon's infringement. In early April 2010 the Court divided the trial into two phases – first a trial on the validity of the asserted claims followed, if necessary, by a trial on damages. On both issues, the jury sided with Marine Polymer.

In the validity phase of the trial, based on briefs and oral argument by the parties, the Court granted JMOL in favor of Marine Polymer on three of HemCon's defenses, specifically lack of enablement, failure to provide a written description, and unpatentable subject matter based on the allegation that the asserted claims cover products of nature. After a five-day trial on the remaining validity issues of anticipation and obviousness, with less than two hours of deliberation, the 9-member jury panel unanimously decided in favor of Marine Polymer. Next, following a two-day trial on damages, the jury returned a verdict for over $29.4 million covering the period from the filing of the lawsuit until the end of 2009. According to Local Counsel, the damages award in this case may be the single largest award in a civil case in history in the State of New Hampshire.

Marine Polymer Technologies, Inc. v. HemCon, Inc., Civil Action No. 06-CV-100-JD (D. N.H. 2006); Marine Polymer Technologies, Inc. v. HemCon, Inc., 672 F.3d 1350 (Fed. Cir. 2012)