UNITED STATES SURGICAL CORP. (USS) (NYSE: USS) announced that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, has again affirmed the dismissal of Ethicon, Inc.'s entire trocar patent infringement claim against USS. Ethicon, a JOHNSON & JOHNSON (NYSE: JNJ) company, had requested reconsideration by the Court of Appeals. The Court's denial of Ethicon's combined petition for rehearing and suggestion for rehearing en banc (before the entire panel of judges) now clears the way for USS to proceed on its own patent infringement claims against Ethicon. USS has claimed that Ethicon is infringing three of its trocar patents. The Ethicon patents at issue include all of the safety-shielded trocars sold by Ethicon since their introductions in 1990. If USS prevails, damages could exceed $500 million before trebling. USS has requested a prompt trial date from the District Court in Hartford to hear its patent infringement claims against Ethicon.
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