Becton Dickinson must face Baxter medical-pump patent claims, court says

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An exterior view of CareFusion's office complex is seen in San Diego, California October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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  • Baxter accused BD's Alaris infusion pumps of violating patent rights
  • Judge rejects BD's request to rule for it before trial

(Reuters) - Becton Dickinson & Co and its subsidiary CareFusion Corp must face a patent lawsuit over their Alaris medical-infusion pump system brought by medtech rival Baxter International, a Chicago federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall said Wednesday that BD and CareFusion had not proven that Alaris pumps work in a way that does not violate Baxter's patent rights in its technology.

Baxter sued San Diego-based CareFusion and Franklin Lakes, New Jersey-based BD in 2015, arguing their Alaris system for monitoring a patient's vital signs and delivering medication, blood and other fluids infringed three of its patents.

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The case was later narrowed to one Baxter patent after a U.S. government tribunal found the other two invalid. The remaining patent covers a medical-infusion pump system that displays user information.

BD and CareFusion asked the court to rule that they do not infringe the patent because the Alaris system's processor does not function in the same way as the patented technology, and because it displays information differently than Deerfield, Illinois-based Baxter's invention.

But Kendall said Wednesday that a reasonable jury could find that Alaris pumps include the same features as Baxter's patented pumps and rejected its bid to end the case before trial.

Baxter declined to comment. BD and one of its attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case is Baxter International Inc v. CareFusion Corp, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, No. 1:15-cv-09986.

For Baxter: Douglas Nash and Joe Stanganelli of Barclay Damon, John Bucheit of Bradley Riley

For BD and CareFusion: Kurt Niederluecke of Fredrikson & Byron, Kevin Tottis of TottisLaw

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com