Philips Electronics $650 Million Masimo Suit Before Jury

Jurors today began deliberating whether Royal Philips NV, the world’s largest lighting company, should pay more than $650 million in damages to Masimo Corp. for infringing patents covering technology used in fingertip devices that measure blood oxygen and pulse rates using light absorbtion.

Royal Philips says it does use the inventions for pulse oximeters, according to papers filed in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware. It says the patents are not valid and no damages are warranted.

“The entire industry respects our patents,” lawyer Joseph Re, representing Masimo, told jurors during a two-week trial.

Philips is lashing back at Masimo with allegations of its own, claiming Masimo, based in Irvine, California, is infringing a Philips patent and should pay Philips $169 million in damages. Jurors must also decide that aspect of the case. “Should Masimo get $651 million for something it didn’t invent?” Philips lawyer Brian Rosenthal said. 11It’s Philips’s invention.’’

Masimo sued an Andover, Massachusetts, subdivision of Amsterdam-based Royal Philips in 2009, claiming it was wrongly importing the oximeters in violation of the two U.S. patents.

“Philips agrees that it infringed,” said U.S. District Judge Leonard P. Stark in court papers. The company claims the patents are invalid as obvious and not properly written, the judge said.

Philips New York shares fell 1.89 percent to $31.11 at 12:40 p.m. Masimo rose 12 cents to $21.40 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.

The Masimo patents are 6,263,222 and 7,215,984. The Philips patent is 6,725,074.

The case is Masimo Corp. v. Philips Electronics North America Corp., 1:09-cv-00080, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).