SAN JOSE, Calif., May 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VNUS(R) Medical Technologies, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has decided to allow a second continuation patent application related to the patents in the VNUS patent infringement lawsuit against suppliers of endovenous laser products. This comes on the heels of the Patent Office's decision last month to allow VNUS a separate patent application, also filed as a continuation of one of the patents in the lawsuit.
The newly allowed VNUS patent application was filed as a continuation of VNUS's U.S. Patents Nos. 6,258,084 and 6,752,803 (the "'084 Patent" and the "'803 Patent" respectively). The continuation patent uses the same patent specification as the '084 and '803 Patents and is published as patent publication number US 2004/0243201. VNUS has sued several endovenous laser manufacturers (Diomed, Inc., Angiodynamics, Inc., and Vascular Solutions, Inc.) for infringement of VNUS patents including the '084 and '803 Patents. (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Case No. C05-02972 MMC.) That lawsuit is currently scheduled to begin trial against non-bankrupt defendants Angiodynamics and Vascular Solutions on June 23 of this year.
The newly allowed VNUS patent application contains claims that recite methods of administering fluid around a hollow anatomical structure, such as a vein in a lower limb, and applying energy from an elongate member to the hollow anatomical structure. The elongate member may be a fiber optic and the energy may be light energy. Significantly, while the application was under examination by the Patent Office, VNUS submitted for review the references that the defendant laser companies cited during the patent litigation in their attempt to challenge the validity of the '084 and '803 Patents.
Brian Farley, VNUS President and CEO, stated, "This is more great news for VNUS. The decision by the Patent Office to allow yet another continuation of our litigated patents -- again after we provided the references cited by our competitors -- only bolsters our confidence that the court will find our patents valid. The newly allowed claims provide additional, meaningful breadth to our patent position and will be a significant asset for protecting our endovenous ablation technology."
ABOUT VNUS MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
Founded in 1995 and headquartered in San Jose, California, VNUS Medical Technologies is a worldwide leader in medical devices for the minimally invasive treatment of venous reflux disease, a progressive condition that causes the varicose veins afflicting 25 million Americans. The pioneering company in the field, VNUS now offers the ClosureFAST system, which consists of a proprietary radiofrequency (RF) generator and proprietary disposable endovenous catheters and devices to close diseased veins through the application of temperature-controlled RF energy. VNUS devices have been used in more than 300,000 procedures worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.vnus.com/.
In addition to statements of historical facts or statements of current conditions, VNUS has made forward-looking statements in this press release. Actual results may differ materially from current expectations based on a number of factors outside VNUS's control, including possible future actions by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office concerning the patent applications discussed herein and future rulings in our pending patent litigation. The reader is cautioned not to unduly rely on these forward-looking statements. VNUS expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as required by law.
Additional information concerning these and other risk factors can be found in press releases issued by VNUS and VNUS's periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including its Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 14, 2008. Copies of VNUS's press releases and additional information about VNUS are available on the corporate website at http://www.vnus.com/.
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