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Aircraft Medical wins litigation against Verathon

Aircraft Medical Ltd of Edinburgh, Scotland, has been told that judgment has been passed in its favour in the long running patent infringement litigation between it and US rival Verathon Medical Inc, a subsidiary of Roper Industries Inc.

The case was heard in the UK at the Scottish Court of Session, where Verathon unsuccessfully claimed that the McGrath(R) Series 5 video laryngoscope infringed its UK EP '131 patent, the "Glidescope" patent. In a comprehensive judgment, Lord Hodge ruled that Verathon's patent does not prevent UK-based Aircraft's production activities and global exports of the McGrath(R) Series 5.

As a counter claim during the litigation, Aircraft filed an action challenging the validity of the UK EP '131 patent. The Court upheld Verathon's patent, but amongst other findings ruled that the claims do not cover laryngoscopes with curved blades such as the McGrath(R) Series 5, therefore Verathon's patent has no commercial relevance to Aircraft's current and planned products, including the new McGrath(R) MAC video laryngoscope.

The Court refused any award of damages to Verathon due to Aircraft's success in the infringement action, despite their original claim for GBP37 million. Both parties are entitled to claim modest costs associated with their respective defences.

Matt McGrath, founder and chief executive of Aircraft Medical commented on February 1, 2011: "This ruling from respected Judge Lord Hodge fully vindicates our long-held conviction that the McGrath(R) products do not infringe Verathon's patents. Whilst Verathon may look for an appeal, we believe today's judgement stands as robust and unequivocal. Our technology is world-leading and we look forward to continuing the global roll-out of our video laryngoscope products."

Aircraft recently announced it has simultaneously entered multiple distribution contracts for its revolutionary lower cost McGrath(R) MAC video laryngoscope, designed to complement the original premium McGrath(R) Series 5. The new contracts cover nine countries, including China, India, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong. Further international distribution agreements are expected to be announced during the year.

Aircraft's patent portfolio was recently increased to include 50 patent applications extending geographically to all key global jurisdictions. Aircraft's IP focuses on technology and growth trends in the intubation instrument space, with its first patents now coming into force, and its overall protective rights expected to reach to around 2030.

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