Trustees from Purdue University filed a federal patent lawsuit against a Japanese company this week over models of pressure monitors. The patent in question – U.S. Patent No. 7,014,611 B1, referred to as the “611 patent,” – was granted in March 2006 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The lawsuit, filed in the northern district of Indiana by Purdue, alleges Omron Corp. and Omron Healthcare Co. are using technology invented by pioneering biotechnology professor Leslie Geddes, who died in 2009 at the age of 88, and a graduate student who worked with him, Rebecca Roeder.
“Geddes is world-renown for his pioneering work in defibrillators, pacemakers, electrocardiographs, blood pressure monitoring and regenerative tissue grafts for burn victims,” the document says. “Prof. Geddes’ inventions have been used to treat hundreds of thousands of patients, are licensed to several Indiana companies such as Cook Biotech, DePuy, Eli Lilly and Hillenbrand Industries, and have generated tens of millions of dollars of royalties for Purdue and the state of Indiana.”
The lawsuit alleges Omron uses the patent’s “non-obvious” and noninvasive technologies in several of its blood pressure monitors, which are distributed and sold in this country, and that the company has been aware of the infringement since at least August 2007.
Omron blood pressure monitors are easily found online. In fact, one model named in the lawsuit, BP786, is listed by several sites as the best on the market, including by Consumer Reports in 2016. It sells on Amazon for $65. “Defendants’ direct infringement of the 611 patent has caused, and will continue to cause, substantial and irreparable damage to Purdue,” the lawsuit says in asking for damages, royalties, interest and attorney costs.