Indianapolis, IN – Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue of the Southern District of Indiana has denied Stryker Corporation’s Motion for Leave to Amend Its Counterclaims, which sought permission to add three more patent infringement counterclaims referencing three additional patents.
In April 2011, patent attorneys for Hill-Rom Services, Inc. of Batesville, Indiana, filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Stryker Corporation of Kalamazoo, Michigan had infringed twelve of its patents: Patent No. 6,993,799, HOSPITAL BED; Patent No. 7,644,458, HOSPITAL BED; Patent No. 6,588,523, STRETCHER HAVING A MOTORIZED WHEEL; Patent No. 6,902,019, STRETCHER HAVING A MOTORIZED WHEEL; Patent No. 7,011,172, PATIENT SUPPORT APPARATUS HAVING A MOTORIZED WHEEL; Patent No. 7,284,626, PATENT SUPPORT APPARATUS WITH POWERED WHEEL; Patent No. 7,090,041, MOTORIZED TRACTION DEVICE FOR A PATIENT SUPPORT; Patent No. 7,273,115, CONTROL APPARATUS FOR A PATIENT SUPPORT; Patent No. 7,407,024, MOTORIZED TRACTION DEVICE FOR A PATIENT SUPPORT; Patent No. 7,828,092, MOTORIZED TRACTION DEVICE FOR A PATIENT SUPPORT; Patent No. 6,772,850, POWER ASSISTED WHEELED CARRIAGE; and Patent No. 6,752,224, WHEELED CARRIAGE HAVING A POWERED AUXILIARY WHEEL, AUXILIARY WHEEL OVERTRAVEL, AND AN AUXILIARY WHEEL DRIVE AND CONTROL SYSTEM.
Stryker had counterclaimed with thirteen claims of patent infringement against Hill-Rom. In late October 2011, Stryker filed a motion seeking to add three more infringement claims regarding Patent No. 6,264,006, Brake for castered wheels, Patent No. 7,124,456, Articulated support surface for a stretcher or gurney and Patent No. 7,395,564, Articulated support surface for a stretcher or gurney.
In its decision today, the court noted that the three proposed patent infringement claims would involve significant facts and issues, such as claim-definition, claim-application, infringement and validity; that would be wholly separate and distinct from the present claims. The court stated that “The new technologies and new product hitched to the new claims will needlessly complicate and/or prolong the Court’s and the jury’s tasks.”
Practice Tip: The court’s opinion notes that Stryker stated a plan to file an additional lawsuit that would separately make these new patent infringement claims against Hill-Rom if the court denied its motion to add counterclaims to the present lawsuit. The court noted a new suit was a “ready alternative” for Stryker.