Escort portable system wins patent suite

Sunday, March 14, 2004

March 15, 2004

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The Escort ultra-lightweight portable liquid oxygen unit, manufactured and sold by Essex and Penox, does not infringe on a design patent owned by Mallinckrodt, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana ruled March 2.
The District Court also ruled that Essex and Penox’s Escort liquid oxygen unit does not infringe any trade dress rights associated with Puritan-Bennett’s Helios H-300 liquid oxygen unit.
In a 74-page opinion, Chief Judge Larry McKinney observed that there were “stark” and “substantial” differences between the Escort liquid oxygen unit and the design shown in Mallinckrodt’s patent, such that no reasonable jury could find in favor of Mallinckrodt on its patent infringement claim. 
The District Court also determined that Mallinckrodt and Puritan-Bennett had failed to prove any violations of the federal Lanham Act or Indiana state common law through Essex and Penox’s sale of the Escort liquid oxygen unit, because Puritan-Bennett could not prove a protectable trade dress right in its Helios liquid oxygen unit.