Cases & Deals

Fenwal and Baxter prevail in Federal Circuit ruling in blood centrifuge patent dispute

Client(s) Fenwal Inc. and Baxter Healthcare Corp.

On June 2, 2010, a unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned an $18 million patent-infringement judgment that had been entered against Jones Day clients Fenwal Inc. and Baxter Healthcare Corp.

Fenwal, a global leader in the development of products that improve the safety and availability of blood, was spun off from Baxter as an independent corporation in 2007. Baxter, and then Fenwal, had been sued by their competitor Haemonetics for infringement of one claim of a patent involving a compact blood centrifuge device. A federal court jury in Massachusetts found infringement and awarded Haemonetics $15.7 million in past damages, and the trial judge awarded an additional $2.3 million in prejudgment interest. Fenwal and Baxter appealed the judgment to the Federal Circuit, the federal appeals court with nationwide jurisdiction over appeals in patent cases. On appeal, the Federal Circuit agreed with Fenwal and Baxter's arguments and ruled that the Massachusetts court had interpreted the patent claim incorrectly, reversed the judgment and vacated the jury's verdict, and remanded the case to the Massachusetts court for any further proceedings that may be necessary.

The Fenwal appeal team was led by Greg Castanias of Jones Day's Washington Office, who argued the appeal, and John Normile of the Firm's New York Office, along with Luke Sobota and Paul Gugliuzza of the Firm's Washington Office.

Haemonetics Corp. v. Baxter Healthcare Corp. and Fenwal Inc., Appeal No. 2009-1557; 607 F.3d 776 (Fed. Cir., June 2, 2010)