Zoll sues Philips over patient monitoring tech patent

Zoll and Philips closed out 2012 butting heads over a patient monitoring equipment patent, and a federal court in the U.S. is going to have to settle the matter.

Zoll ($ZOLL), now a division of Japan's Asahi Kasei Group, is suing Philips' ($PHG) Respironics for allegedly stepping on its 2004 patent for technology used to help monitor patients under treatment for breathing problems related to sleep disorders. As Bloomberg reports, Zoll alleges that Philips' EncoreAnywhere respirator uses that disputed Respironics technology without license or permission from Zoll.

The technology is modern, enabling patients to wear a device that collects data and then transmits it via the Internet to a doctor or clinician.

As anyone in the industry knows, patent disputes can be fairly common. That's because an advance or any kind of edge in a given product line can mean market prominence and lucrative revenue potential. A judge could certainly throw out the challenge, but Zoll could just as easily come out on the winning side and order Philips to stop using the tech. Of course, there's a telling phrase that Bloomberg cites from Zoll's complaint, alleging that Philips/Respironics "does not have a license or permission to use the patent." With that in mind, we think it logical that Zoll might seek a settlement where Philips agrees to pay some sort of licensing fee.

Neither side could be reached for comment in time for deadline. But this story is definitely "to be continued."

- read the Bloomberg story

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