Judgment today was handed down in Cantel Medical (UK) Ltd v Arc Medical Design  EWHC 345 (Pat), in which a Carpmaels & Ransford team led by Ian Kirby and Chris Tunstall acted for Arc, the defendant. The matter began as a patent revocation action brought by Cantel, with Arc counterclaiming for infringement of not only its patents, but also its registered community designs and unregistered design rights. The Court found that all of Arc’s IP rights were valid and that the majority of them had been infringed by Cantel.
The case concerned medical devices which are attached to colonoscopes to assist in the detection of cancerous growths in the bowel. Cantel was the distributor of Arc’s product, the ENDOCUFF®, in the United States of America. When this relationship came to an end, Arc was distributing a new device it had developed, the ENDOCUFF VISION®. In response Cantel launched a copycat device.
Cantel began to market its product and brought these proceedings in an attempt to clear the way by invalidating the UK and European patents protecting the ENDOCUFF® and ENDOCUFF VISION® devices. Cantel accepted that if valid the patents would be infringed and its attacks focussed on arguments of anticipation, obviousness and added matter. In relation to the design rights Cantel sought to attack their validity and argued that even if they were valid, there was no infringement because any similarities were due to limited design freedom rather than copying of the Arc devices.
In finding for Arc, the High Court stated that it was in no doubt that both the ENDOCUFF® and ENDOCUFF VISION® had been copied by Cantel and that it was surprised Cantel had maintained otherwise. The Court ruled that both of Arc’s patents (in amended form) were valid and infringed, both of the registered community designs were valid with one infringed and that both of the unregistered design rights were valid and infringed. The full judgment can be found here.