Kinetic Concepts, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., No. 11-1105 (Fed. Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Wake Forest is the owner of asserted patents, and KCI are the exclusive licensees of the patents, which claim methods and apparatuses for treating difficult-to-heal wounds by applying suction or negative pressure. In response to S&N’s 2008 announcement that it was launching a new foam-based negative pressure wound treatment product, Wake Forest and KCI asserted that S&N infringes two apparatus claims of the patent and induces infringement of four method claims. Rejecting the jury’s findings of non-obviousness, the district court found obviousness, based on prior art, and rejected infringement claims. The Federal Circuit reversed and remanded. The objective evidence strongly supported the jury’s findings under the first three Graham factors and cut against the view that the claimed inventions were an obvious combination of known elements from the prior art.