Laser Battles Reach Fever Pitch

A quick glance at the Diomed’s recent press releases might lead you to believe the company is a law firm, rather than a provider of minimally invasive varicose vein treatments.

Diomed vs. Total Vein Solutions

The Andover-based company headed to court again today to voice its request today for a preliminary injunction against Total Vein Solutions in its continuing efforts to enforce U.S. Patent Number 6,398,777.

The “777 Patent” covers the endovascular laser treatment of varicose veins.

Diomed vs. AngioDynamics and Vascular Solutions

Previous rulings had validated Diomed’s claims, preventing two of the company’s competitors – AngioDynamics and Vascular Solutions – from selling the infringing lasers and disposables. Diomed also sought damages; in March 2007 the court awarded the company $14.7 million.

That ruling was one of the few positive developments at the company over this last year. Diomed is trading at an all time low of $.21, down from a 52-week high of $3.50. It may soon lose its seat on the AMEX stock exchange. The company continues to hemorrhage more than $10 million annually – much of that, no doubt, in the form of legal fees.

AngioDynamics has appealed the outcome of this patent infringement suit. Oral arguments are expected to be presented to a Federal Appeals Court three-judge panel in “March or April 2008”.

If the appeal is not successful, Angiodynamics will be required to pay Diomed $9.7 million plus accrued interest.

Even as that battle has raged, Diomed and AngioDynamics have sparred.

Diomed vs. AngioDynamics (Round 2)

A July 2, 2007 injunction prohibited AngioDynamics from selling its original VenaCure(R) bare tipped fiber, a minimally invasive treatment for severe varicose veins.

AngioDynamics reports that, prior to this injunction, it had stopped selling infringing disposable kits and introduced the new NeverTouch VenaCure disposable kit.

A Motion for Contempt filed by Diomed on July 11, 2007 alleged that NeverTouch violated this permanent injunction. AngioDynamics posits that NeverTouch is a significant improvement over the original VenaCure.

The Court sided with AngioDynamics. In an order received on January 16, 2008, U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton refuted Diomed’s motion, stating that AngioDynamics could develop the non-infringing kits and laser consoles.

VNUS Medical vs. Diomed, AngioDynamics and Vascular Solutions

And just when you think the whole travail couldn’t get any more complicated, VNUS Medical enters the fray. Its patent infringement suit lumps Diomed, AngioDynamics and Vascular Solutions on the same side as co-defendants (karma, if ever such a thing existed). That trial is expected to commence on June 23, 2008.

The comments are closed.