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Saturday, December 7, 2019

Medical device manufacturer settles patent dispute with Pitt

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Apr 15, 2014


PITTSBURGH (Legal Newsline) -- A California-based medical device manufacturer has agreed to pay the University of Pittsburgh $35 million to settle patent litigation over a university patent for radiotherapy equipment.

Pitt sued Varian Medical Systems, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2007 over the company's Real-time Position Management technology, which is used to account for breathing motion during delivery of radiation therapy.

In 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled against Varian, ordering a payment of $102 million in damages, enhanced damages, interest and fees, as well as ongoing royalty payments.

Varian challenged that ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which released its opinion Thursday.

In its 31-page ruling, the Federal Circuit -- which handles all U.S. patent appeals -- mostly upheld the district court's decision, but reversed its finding that Varian's infringement was "willful."

Also, two of the three Federal Circuit judges -- Judge Timothy B. Dyk dissented -- held that the district court erred in construction of claim 22, requiring the damages award associated with that claim to be vacated and remanded.

Pitt spokesman Ken Service said the university is pleased with the court's decision.

"The university looks forward to receiving a final damage award in a case that has been in litigation for seven years," he said in an emailed statement.

The settlement was contingent on the Federal Circuit's ruling.

Under the deal, Varian will pay Pitt the $35 million in a lump sum. Also, Varian will not owe any future royalty payments associated with the sale of Varian products that incorporate the patent at issue.

Varian customers will continue to have full use of these products, the company said in a statement.

According to its website, Varian is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery and brachytherapy.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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