EPLAW PATENT BLOG

NL – Corbin v. Pelvitec

Posted: February 16th, 2022

Corbin Clinical Resources LLC v. Pelvitec B.V., Leapmed France SAS et al., preliminary relief Judge District Court The Hague, 3 February 2022, Case No.  ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2022:702

Preliminary injunction proceedings, PI rejected. The patent on a medical device was deemed not (in)directly infringed because in the provisional opinion of the PI Judge the patent is not valid. Succesful Gilette defense.

Corbin holds patent EP ‘811 which protects a needle guide intended to be placed on a transrectal probe for performing transperineal biopsies. Pelvitec allegedly indirectly infringes the Dutch part of its patent by adding the Instructions For Use (IFU) to their SureFire device. Fitting the SureFire with an access needle as recommended in the IFU accoring to Corbin creates a device that falls within the scope of claim 1 of the patent. 

The preliminary relief Judge dismisses Corbin’s claims.

“The foregoing leads to the preliminary conclusion that claim 1 (as granted) must be interpreted as meaning that a needle guide having a number of structural and a number of functional features falls within the scope of protection. The functional (sub) features that form part of features 1.4 and 1.5 of claim 1 of EP 811 (see ground 5.2) must be interpreted in such a way that they do not protect an access needle as such as part of the device, but that the device must be suitable to support, guide, fix and receive an access needle. An additional functional requirement is then included in 1.4 for the access needle itself.

“Any needle guide that satisfies the structural features of claim 1 and is further capable of supporting, guiding or receiving an access needle is within the scope of claim 1. The combination of a needle guide and an access needle is not protected in conclusion 1.”

Gillette defense

“In view of the provisional opinion on the interpretation, there can be no question of indirect infringement in the manner as stated by Corbin in the writ of summons. Even if the allegations are to be interpreted as direct infringement, Corbin’s claims in provisional opinion fail. This is the case because Pelvitec et al.’s Gillette defense succeeds; it cannot infringe because the SureFire is an application of the prior art needle guide UA1232.”

A copy of the judgment (in Dutch) can be read here.

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