Covidien slapped with patent suit

Ivera Medical claims Covidien willfully infringed on patents tied to its Curos device.--Courtesy of Ivera Medical

Device giant Covidien ($COV) has willfully infringed on the intellectual property of a much smaller competitor, according to a lawsuit, ignoring patents and stepping on the company's profits in the process.

San Diego's Ivera Medical is suing Covidien over the Kendall Disinfectant Cap, saying the product infringes on three of its patents covering devices that clean and protect intravenous access ports. Covidien's is ripping off Ivera's Curos Disinfecting Port Protector, the company said, a product on the U.S. market since winning FDA clearance in 2008 and designed to prevent facility-acquired bloodstream infections.

Now, Ivera is asking a federal court to halt Covidien from selling the allegedly infringing products and force it to hand over compensatory damages.

Covidien said Wednesday it does not comment on pending litigation.

This is hardly Ivera's maiden voyage into patent disputes, as the company has gone head to head with Hospira ($HSP), Catheter Connections and Excelsior Medical over the past few years over the same intellectual property.

"It seems incredible that a company like Covidien would knowingly enter a market, still in its early growth stage, with a product that is the subject of an existing patent infringement action," Ivera CEO Bob Rogers said in a statement. "The exposure they have, including treble damages and the potential to disgorge all profits, for them is quite large."

- read Ivera's statement

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