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CareFusion Argues Sigma International Infringed Pump Patent

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- CareFusion Corp. asked a jury to find that Sigma International General Medical Apparatus LLC infringed one of its patents used in intravenous infusion pumps and owes as much as $171 million in damages.

An attorney for CareFusion said in his closing argument today in federal court in San Diego that the Sigma Spectrum pump uses technology that infringes CareFusion’s U.S. Patent 6,347,553. CareFusion seeks compensation including lost profits on the sales of its competing infusion pumps, lost sales of related products and services and a royalty on the remaining sales of the Sigma Spectrum pumps, according to court filings.

“The damages must be adequate to compensate CareFusion for this infringement,” CareFusion attorney John Allcock told jurors. “We are asking you to put CareFusion in the same financial condition had this patent not been infringed.”

Sigma has denied infringing the patent and disputed testimony by CareFusion’s financial expert witness on damages. Sigma’s financial expert testified that if the jury decides the patent was infringed, damages should be no more than $859,590.

Sigma’s attorney, Michael Bettinger, said in his closing today that CareFusion is fighting over a patent it doesn’t use in an attempt to increase the company’s market share of infusion pumps.

‘Strategic Purposes’

“This patent is being used for strategic purposes,” Bettinger said. “They don’t use the technology.”

The ‘553 patent relates to a force-sensor assembly for infusion pumps used in the health-care industry, according to court filings. Both companies manufacture and sell infusion pumps, which control the amount and rate of the flow of fluid and drugs administered to a patient through intravenous tubes.

CareFusion, based in San Diego, also contends that Medina, New York-based Sigma has induced others to infringe the patent. Sigma denies that claim as well, according to court filings.

U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw is presiding over the trial. Jury deliberations are scheduled to begin tomorrow.

The case is CareFusion 303 Inc. v. Sigma International, 3:10-cv-0442, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bill Callahan in federal court in San Diego at Callahan@san.rr.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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