Design Patent Case Digest: Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. v. Covidien, Inc.

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C.

Decision Date: August 7, 2015 -

Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit -

Patent: D661,801; D661,802; D661,803; D661,804 -

Holding: Summary judgment of invalidity REVERSED; claim construction VACATED; summary judgment of noninfringement AFFIRMED.


Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. and Ethicon Endo-Surgery, LLC sued Covidien, Inc. and Covidien LP for, among other things, infringement of U.S. Design Patent Nos. D661,801, D661,802, D661,803, and D661,804, each entitled “User Interface for a Surgical Instrument.” The design patents relate to a handheld, ultrasonic surgical device and cover ornamental features of the device’s trigger, torque knob, and activation button. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of Covidien finding that the design patents are invalid as functional and not infringed by Covidien’s accused product. Ethicon appealed both findings to the Federal Circuit.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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