|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2019
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
NOTE 4 LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
We are involved in several lawsuits with our principal competitor, EMED Technologies Corporation (“EMED”). EMED has alleged that our needle sets infringe various patents controlled by EMED. Certain of these lawsuits also allege antitrust violations, unfair business practices, and various other business tort claims. We are vigorously defending against all of the lawsuits brought by EMED. Although no assurances can be given, we believe we have meritorious defenses to all of EMED’s claims.
The initial case involving EMED was filed by us in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California on September 20, 2013 (the “California case”), in response to a letter from EMED claiming patent infringement by us, and seeking a declaratory judgment establishing the invalidity of the patent referenced in the letter – EMED’s US patent 8,500,703 – “‘703.” EMED answered the complaint and asserted patent infringement of the ‘703 patent and several counterclaims relating generally to claims of unfair business practices against us. We responded by adding several claims against EMED, generally relating to claims of unfair business practices on EMED’s part. Both parties have requested injunctive relief and monetary damages in unspecified amounts. On June 16, 2015, the California court entered a preliminary injunction against KORU Medical making certain statements regarding what products were cleared by the FDA for use, or could be safely used, with KORU Medical’s Freedom60 pump, without voiding the product warranty. On September 11, 2015, we 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 of EMED’s claims in the patent. On January 25, 2018, EMED filed an Appeal Brief with a Petition for Revival, which was accepted. On April 9, 2018, the USPTO denied EMED’s request for reconsideration of the order rejecting all claims in the ‘703 patent. On June 26, 2019, the Examiner responded to EMED’s appeal brief and maintained all of the final rejections. Both the California case and EMED’s appeal of the USPTO rejections are pending.
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 on another of its patents (US 8,961,476 – “‘476”), by our needle sets, and seeking unspecified monetary damages (“ED Texas ‘476 matter”). This ‘476 patent is related to the now rejected EMED ‘703 patent.
On September 17, 2015, we requested an inter partes review (“IPR”) of the ‘476 patent, and in response to our request, the Court entered an order staying the ED Texas ‘476 matter 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 our favor, invalidating all but one (“dependent Claim 9”) of the claims in the ‘476 patent. 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 our favor on April 3, 2018. On April 18, 2018, EMED filed a petition for en banc rehearing, which was denied. On August 16, 2018, EMED petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a Writ of Certiorari to review the Federal Circuit’s upholding the PTAB’s Final Written Decision. On October 29, 2018 the United States Supreme Court denied EMED’s Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, thus finally affirming the PTAB’s invalidation of ‘476, save for one dependent claim.
Following the PTAB’s Final Written Decision in the IPR regarding the ‘476 patent, EMED filed a new patent application claiming priority back to the application that issued as ‘703, which is the patent 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 (the “third case”) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas claiming patent infringement of ‘576, also directed to our needle sets, and seeking unspecified damages and a preliminary injunction against marketing and sales of our needle sets. We filed a Motion to Dismiss or Transfer Venue to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (“SDNY”), which resulted in the transfer of the third case to SDNY (“SDNY ‘576 matter”) on May 30, 2018.
On April 23, 2018, EMED filed a new civil case (the “fourth case”) against us in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas asserting antitrust, defamation and unfair business practice claims, and seeking unspecified damages, similar to those previously presented in the California case, described above. The fourth case also names Andrew Sealfon, then President and CEO of KORU Medical, individually as a defendant. As the result of a hearing on November 14, 2018, on December 7, 2018, the Court entered an order transferring the fourth case to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California (the “California Court”). The California Court set an initial schedule for a preliminary motion phase and on August 30, 2019 EMED filed a second amended complaint. On September 30, 2019, KORU Medical and Sealfon filed a motion to dismiss that complaint, and Sealfon filed a separate motion to dismiss the case as to him for lack of jurisdiction. Ultimately, we expect this case to be coordinated or consolidated with the California case, or dismissed, as the California Court sees fit.
At the same hearing on November 14, 2018, the Texas Court granted EMED leave to amend its infringement contentions, following the IPR decision invalidating all but one claim of the ‘476 patent, in order to assert infringement of that sole remaining claim, namely dependent Claim 9. The Texas Court’s order allowing EMED’s amendment of its infringement contentions against us was entered on December 7, 2018.
The ED Texas ‘476 matter proceeded under EMED’s amended infringement contention to incorporate the surviving dependent Claim 9, which incorporates Claims 1 and 8 of the ‘476 patent, meaning that, to prove infringement on the part of us, EMED must prove more elements of infringement than it originally charged against us. In April 2019, EMED served its damages expert’s report opining that EMED’s past infringement damages amount to $1.5 million, and in May KORU Medical served its damages expert’s rebuttal report opining that EMED’s expert miscalculated damages which if properly calculated would amount to less than $100,000. The Texas Court had set a trial date of August 19, 2019, for the trial of the ED Texas ‘476 matter. On June 24, 2019, the Texas Court Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation decision finding no infringement, literally or under the doctrine of equivalents, by KORU Medical’s accused products. EMED filed its objections on June 26, 2019. On June 28, 2019 the United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas issued a Final Judgment in favor of KORU Medical and adopted the decision of the Magistrate Judge that was issued on June 24, 2019, overruled EMED’s objections, awarded court costs to KORU Medical, and dismissed the case. A final judgment has been entered. KORU Medical has submitted its Bill of Costs for approximately $16,000 and moved to declare the case exceptional and for recovery of its attorney fees and expenses of approximately $2.3 million in defense of EMED’s assertion of the ‘476 Patent. EMED has objected to our Bill of Costs, opposed the motion for fees, and filed a notice of appeal of the non-infringement judgment to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. On September 16, 2019, EMED filed its opening appeal brief. KORU Medical plans to oppose EMED’s appeal. The ED Texas court has stayed proceedings in the district court until the appeal process is completed. KORU Medical’s fee motion remains pending lifting of the stay.
The SDNY ‘576 matter proceeded in the New York court through claim construction on the ‘576 Patent, whereupon KORU Medical sought permission from the New York court to file a motion for summary judgement, to which EMED objected. The New York court granted KORU Medical’s request, and on July 10, 2019, KORU Medical filed its motion for summary judgement. EMED opposed that motion, and on August 30, 2019, the New York court granted summary judgement, and dismissed the lawsuit. A final judgement has been entered. KORU Medical has submitted a Bill of Costs for approximately $1,500, to which EMED has objected, and has moved the New York court to declare the case exceptional and for recovery of its attorney fees and expenses of at least $1.16 million. EMED has opposed that motion, which is now fully briefed and has been referred to a United States District Court Magistrate Judge to prepare a report and recommendation. EMED also has appealed the New York court’s judgment of non-infringement to the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit, which matter is pending. EMED’s opening appeal brief is currently due November 8, 2019.
As is required by the respective Courts in both the SDNY ‘576 matter and the ED Texas ‘476 matter, the parties are engaging in settlement discussions and have conducted a court-sponsored mediation session, which did not result in settlement.
Although we believe KORU Medical has meritorious claims and defenses in all of the above-described actions and proceedings, their outcomes cannot be predicted with any certainty. If any of these actions against us are successful, they could have a material adverse effect on our 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