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Aircraft Medical Ready to Fight
Date:1/21/2008

Edinburgh-Based Aircraft Medical Ready to Fight £37m Court Action

EDINBURGH, Scotland, January 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Aircraft Medical ("Aircraft"), the UK medical devices company announces that it will rigorously defend a patent infringement case commenced in the Court of Session, Edinburgh by a competitor, Verathon (based in Seattle, USA). Verathon is claiming GBP37m in damages.

Verathon has claimed that the McGrath(R) Series 5 Video Laryngoscope, manufactured by Aircraft Medical in Scotland, infringes its European Patent 1307131, and by some undisclosed means has calculated damages in lost sales of GBP37m.

Aircraft's defences will be based on non-infringement. Verathon's patent describes a laryngoscope having a V-shape blade, comprising two straight sections of equal length. The patent is not relevant to the McGrath(R) Series 5 which features a curved blade, and has other clear differences. Interestingly, Verathon's own current product, the Glidescope(R), does not appear to fall within the scope of its own patent.

In the US, Verathon filed a patent infringement case against Aircraft Medical in Seattle in February 2006, almost a year before the McGrath(R) Series 5 was fully launched into the US. Aircraft Medical succeeded in having that case dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Following this, in June 2006, Verathon filed again against Aircraft in Atlanta, Georgia. The federal court has since suspended the Atlanta litigation, because, at Aircraft's request, the U.S. Patent Office is re-examining the validity of Verathon's U.S. patent (number 6,543,447). In fact, at this point the U.S. Patent Office has declared that every claim in the issued '447 patent is invalid, representing a significant setback for Verathon.

Despite its aggressive approach, Verathon has won no court rulings against Aircraft Medical, and there are no restrictions on McGrath(R) sales anywhere in the world.

To date, Aircraft Medical has signed distrib
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SOURCE Aircraft Medical Limited
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