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Carefusion 303, Inc v. Sigma International

December 20, 2011

CAREFUSION 303, INC.,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
SIGMA INTERNATIONAL,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Dana M. SABRAWUnited States District Judge

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OF NON-INFRINGEMENT [Docket No. 95]

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant's motion for summary judgment of non-infringement. Plaintiff filed an opposition to the motion, and Defendant filed a reply. For the reasons discussed below, the Court denies Defendant's motion.

I.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

A. The '553 Patent

United States Patent Number 6,347,553 ("the '553 Patent") is entitled, "Force Sensor Assembly for an Infusion Pump." Plaintiff alleges Defendant infringes claims 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 11, 12, 17, 22 and 23 of the '553 Patent.

Independent claim 1 of the '553 Patent provides:

A force sensor assembly for use in peristaltic pumps, comprising: a housing; a load cell at least partially disposed within said housing; a plunger, pivotable about an axis, where said plunger comprises; an upper surface; and an underside surface distal from said upper surface where said underside surface cooperates with said load cell; and a means for reducing said load cell's sensitivity to the positioning of an applied force on said upper surface.

Independent claim 22 provides: A force sensor assembly adapted to reduce a load cell's sensitivity to the positioning of an applied force, comprising: a housing; a load cell at least partially disposed within said housing; and a plunger rotatably coupled to said housing by means of a hinge said plunger further comprising; an upper surface which is shaped to compensate for variations in measured force caused by the misalignment of said applied force; and an underside surface distal from said upper surface, such that in use a force applied to said upper surface of said plunger is transferred to said load cell by said underside of said plunger pivoting into contact with said load cell.

B. The Accused Product

Plaintiff alleges Sigma Spectrum pumps infringe at least claims 1 and 22 of the '553 Patent. The Sigma Spectrum pump "is a linear peristaltic IV pump that uses designated conventional IV sets from major set manufacturers. The pump features a number of traditional linear peristaltic IV pump elements including an air-in-line detector and a downstream occlusion sensor." (Decl. of Neil Sheehan in Supp. of Opp'n to Mot. ¶10.) As it relates to the present motion, the pump has a door, which when opened, allows the user to load the IV tube into the pump. The door has a component called a pusher, which applies pressure to the IV tube when the door is closed. The parties dispute whether the IV tube is capable of moving around or being off-center once the door to the pump is closed.

II.

DISCUSSION

Defendant moves for summary judgment of non-infringement of the '553 Patent. It argues its IV pump does not meet the function recited in claim 1 of the '553 Patent that requires "reducing a load cell's sensitivity to the positioning of an applied force on said upper surface." Defendant also asserts its IV pump does not meet the requirement of "misalignment" in claim 22. Plaintiff contends Defendant's motion is based on an erroneous construction of the claim language. It also argues ...


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