Hull, UK -- The UK Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of Smith & Nephew in a patent dispute over negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT), bought by US group Kinetic Concepts Inc. As a result, a preliminary injunction against Smith & Nephew's Renasys-F NPWT dressing system has been lifted.
While an earlier Patents Court ruling found for KCI in three of ten claims in the suit, the Appeal Court overturned this decision.
"This favourable ruling for Smith & Nephew clears a major legal hurdle in the UK allowing us to offer our customers the breadth of NPWT products with proven clinical efficacy," said Robin Carlstein, senior vice president of S&N's Advanced Wound Devices, in a 14 July statement.
Negative pressure wound therapy uses vacuum pumps in combination with polyurethane foam or gauze dressings, to lower the pressure over long-term intractable ulcers and wounds which have not responded to other treatments. This approach reduces wound debris and controls exudates.
San Antonio, Texas-based KCI said in a separate statement issued the same day that it would appeal to the UK House of Lords to reverse the decision. KCI said that the UK decision revoked a patent (EP UK 0 620 720) licensed to KCI from Wake Forest University. This KCI patent on the use of foam-dressing kits with NPWT systems is not valid, according to the UK Court of Appeal.
"We are disappointed with this ruling and plan to appeal the decision to the House of Lords," said Stephen Seidel, KCI executive vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel. "This ruling is limited to the UK patent at issue and does not directly affect the other patents in KCI's portfolio or any other proceedings outside the UK."
Advanced wound dressings are a fast growing and highly competitive segment of the medical market.