GE, SonoSite resolve some patent disputes

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon
Google icon
Sonosite has another ultrasound patent case to face with GE in 2009. Source: SonoSite  

Sonosite and GE have agreed to settle an ultrasound technology patent-infringement lawsuit filed by GE on May 15, 2007. A second patent-infringement lawsuit, filed by GE earlier this year against SonoSite, remains to be adjudicated.

Following the trial court's summary judgment rulings on July 24, the parties agreed to dismiss the remaining claims, thereby resolving the entirety of the case (no. 07-C-0273) in the district court, and negating the need for a trial. The parties have retained their rights to appeal the trial court's decisions of last week, according the Bothell, Wash.-based SonoSite.

GE alleged that SonoSite infringed six GE patents relating to ultrasound technology. SonoSite said it denied infringement and counterclaimed, alleging that GE infringed four of its ultrasound patents and that GE's patents were invalid.

In last week's rulings, Judge Barbara Crabb ruled in SonoSite’s favor on five of the six patents that GE had asserted, SonoSite said. The company also said that the court ruled that one of GE's patents is invalid and that SonoSite products do not infringe the other four GE patents.

However, the court ruled in GE's favor on two of SonoSite's patents finding that GE did not infringe those two patents, according to SonoSite. At the recent judgment, the court did not rule on the two remaining SonoSite patents and one remaining GE patent.

“As with this first lawsuit, we strongly believe that there is no legal basis for a second lawsuit that GE filed against us this year in May,” said Kevin M. Goodwin, SonoSite president and CEO.

GE filed the second patent lawsuit against SonoSite in the same federal district court in Madison, Wis., on May 22 of this year, seeking to invalidate SonoSite's U.S patent 5,722, 412 relating to digital ultrasound weighing less than 10 pounds. That case, (no.08-C-298), is scheduled for trial in June 2009, also with Crabb presiding.