|3 Months Ended|
Mar. 31, 2018
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
NOTE 4 LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
The Company is involved in several lawsuits with its competitor, EMED Technologies Corp. (“EMED”), wherein EMED has alleged the Company’s needle sets infringe various patents controlled by EMED. Certain of these lawsuits also allege antitrust violations, unfair business practices and various other claims. Although no assurances can be given, the Company believes it likely that each of EMED’s patents at issue in these cases will be deemed invalid and that the Company will succeed on the merits with respect to all of the other elements of the cases.
The initial case involving EMED was filed by the Company in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California on September 20, 2013, in response to a letter from EMED claiming infringement by RMS, and sought to establish the invalidity of the patent referenced in the letter – patent US 8,500,703 – or “‘703.” EMED answered the complaint and asserted patent infringement of ‘703 and unfair business practice counterclaims. The Company responded by adding unfair business practice claims against EMED. Both parties have requested injunctive relief and monetary damages in unspecified amounts.
On August 22, 2017, the Company filed a motion in this California case seeking a Preliminary Injunction prohibiting EMED from making false statements and claims regarding the products of both companies. The motion has now been fully briefed, and the parties are awaiting action by the Court.
Earlier, on September 11, 2015, the Company requested an ex parte reexamination of the ‘703 patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The ex parte reexamination resulted in a Final Office Action dated July 19, 2017 rejecting all EMED claims of the patent. On January 25, 2018 EMED filed an Appeal Brief with a Petition for Revival, and the ex parte reexamination is ongoing.
The second court case was filed by EMED in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on June 25, 2015, claiming patent infringement of another of its patents (US 8,961,476 – “‘476”), by the Company’s needle sets, and seeking unspecified monetary damages. This ‘476 patent is related to the ‘703 patent.
On September 17, 2015 the Company requested an inter partes review (“IPR”) of ‘476, and in response to the Company’s request, the Court entered an order staying the second case until after the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) of the USPTO made a decision regarding the validity of the patent. On January 12, 2017, the PTAB issued its Final Written Decision in RMS’s favor invalidating all but one of the claims in this patent. (The Company believes the remaining claim is not independently material to any of EMED’s litigation claims or RMS’s rights.) EMED appealed the PTAB’s ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which affirmed the PTAB’s Final Written Decision in the Company’s favor on April 3, 2018. On April 18, 2018, EMED filed a petition for en banc rehearing. The second court case in the Eastern District of Texas remains stayed pending EMED’s exhaustion of its rights of judicial review of the PTAB’s decision.
Following the PTAB’s Final Written Decision, EMED filed a new patent application claiming priority back to the application that issued as ‘703 at issue in the California case. Submitted for accelerated examination, this new application issued as US 9,808,576 – “‘576” on November 7, 2017. On this same date, EMED filed a new case in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas claiming patent infringement of ‘576, also directed to the Company’s needle sets, and seeking unspecified damages and a preliminary injunction against the Company’s marketing of its needle sets. RMS has filed a Motion to Dismiss or Transfer Venue to the Southern District of New York, as RMS has no physical or direct presence in the Eastern District of Texas. RMS also filed an opposition to EMED’s preliminary injunction motion, to which EMED did not file a reply. Decisions by the Court on these pending motions is expected shortly.
On April 23, 2018, EMED filed a new Civil Case in the Eastern District of Texas asserting antitrust, defamation and unfair business practice claims, and seeking unspecified damages, similar to those previously presented in the first case, described above. The Company is reviewing this newest action and will respond in due course.
Although the Company believes it has meritorious claims and defenses in these actions and proceedings, their outcomes cannot be predicted with any certainty. If any of these actions against the Company are successful, they could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
The entire disclosure for legal proceedings, legal contingencies, litigation, regulatory and environmental matters and other contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef