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Atrium Responds to Bard Suit

HUDSON, N.H., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Atrium Medical Corporation was recently named as a defendant, along with Endologix, Inc., of Irvine, CA, in a lawsuit brought by C.R. Bard in U.S. District Court in Arizona.  The suit involves a patent, U.S. No. 6,436,135, issued to Bard in 2002 related to prosthetic vascular grafts made of ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene). Atrium has been involved in discussions with Bard management regarding this patent for several years.

The patent was filed in 1974 and has been the subject almost continuous litigation for nearly thirty years between Bard and W. L. Gore Associates before the U.S. Patent Office and the courts. That litigation is still ongoing, and involves questions about the validity and scope of the patent that will ultimately have to be resolved by the court of appeals. Final resolution, however, will take upwards of two years or more.

Steve Herweck, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Atrium, said, "Atrium's management has every intention to resolve this issue in the best interest of our firm, employees and shareholders. Atrium remains committed to our almost 30 year history and practice of not knowingly violating anyone's intellectual property. Litigation by many companies today has unfortunately become an integral and daily part of business practice by many, including those in the diverse healthcare industry. We remain confident in attaining a resolution to this suit filed by Bard, and remain steadfast in our commitment to uninterrupted supply of all of our products, and our legacy of the 'best-in-the-industry' customer service to our customers."

Endologix also responded to the suit in a statement last week, saying it was confident its products do not infringe Bard's patent.

About Atrium

Founded in 1981, Atrium is a diversified healthcare provider dedicated to innovation, research and development, state-of-the-art manufacturing, customer service, and clinical education. From the cardiac cath-lab to the operating room, Atrium offers a diversified portfolio of critical care products leading the way to brighter, more clinically effective solutions in cardiovascular disease, soft tissue repair and critical care management.

SOURCE Atrium Medical Corporation
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