Judge issues mixed initial ruling in ResMed, 3B case

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

SAN DIEGO and LAKE WALES, Fla. – An administrative law judge at the International Trade Commission (ITC) on Aug. 22 made an initial ruling on ResMed’s claims that Chinese manufacturer BMC Medical and its U.S. distributor 3B Medical have infringed on a number of its patents.

ResMed reports that Judge Thomas Pender found that BMC/3B’s InH2 humidifier and four of its masks (iVolve nasal mask, iVolve N2 nasal mask, Willow nasal pillows mask, and iVolve full face mask) infringe ResMed patents.

BMC/3B points out, however, that the judge agreed to invalidate three out of four of ResMed’s claims on the humidifier. Because this is an initial ruling, BMC/3B says it plans to petition the ITC to invalidate the remaining claim to completely clear its CPAP devices.

The ITC isn’t scheduled to make a final decision on the case until December.

While Pender has recommended that the ITC ban BMC/3B from importing or selling any of the infringing products in the U.S., BMC/3B says the ruling will have no impact on its ability to manufacture and distribute product going forward.

“Our product design teams have redesigns ready and molds prepared to move new designs into production as needed,” said Alex Lucio, vice president of 3B, in a statement to HME News. “The most significant take away is that 3B/BMC’s line of CPAP, Auto-CPAP and Bi-Level devices are already moving to redesigned components which are not implicated by this decision.”

Pender has also recommended a cease and desist order that would enjoin BMC/3B from selling, advertising, marketing, storing or testing the infringing products in the U.S.

ResMed is calling the ruling a victory.

“The judge’s decision is not just a victory for ResMed and the product innovation that is core to our brand, but it’s also a win for patients who deserve high quality, comfortable care,” stated David Pendarvis, chief administrative officer and global general counsel, in a release.

ResMed and BMC/3B concluded a trial before the ITC in April.