PALO ALTO -- A preliminary decision was made Oct. 27 in the legal patent dispute between popular medical companies Elekta and Varian Medical Systems.
The judge ruled that although Elekta did impose a violation “predominantly related to algorithms used in treatment planning software” as noted in an online press release, the judge would dismiss Varian’s patent claims. However, the case would continue to go through the proper legal process in determining a final decision.
“The judge dismissed Varian’s infringement claims on patents related to imaging enhanced radiotherapy and declared them not infringed by Elekta or invalid due to prior art incorporated in patents exclusively licensed by Elekta," according to the company's website. The company also stated that “Varian’s claims lack merit” and allegedly had no sufficient evidence to provide in the litigation.
Elekta had filed parallel proceedings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which have been instituted, to declare the patents invalid.
"The preliminary analysis is that there is a reasonable likelihood of success in these cases," the website said.
This is not the first time Elekta and Varian have taken legal action against one another. Back in September 2015 and in 2013, Varian Medial Systems filed suit against Elekta stating it committed patent infringement on a VMAT invention regarding imaging enhanced radiotherapy. In June 2015, Elekta and William Beaumont Hospital filed suit against Varian for allegedly infringing current patents. In 2013, the lawsuit between both parties was resolved by mutual agreement after one year of litigation.
Both Elekta and Varian are in the business of fighting cancer and both anticipating the case to be resolved so they can get return focus to their company goals. They provide hospitals and clinics with state-of-the-art medial equipment, tools and medical software that seek to find relief for cancer patients. They work together in developing and producing products that help save the lives of cancer-stricken patients.
"Today, Elekta solutions in oncology and neurosurgery are used in over 6,000 hospitals worldwide," Elekta's Gert Van Santen told the Northern California Record. “We are the second largest provider of these systems in the world."
Since 1974, the company has developed treatment planning systems.
"[They've been] for radiation therapy, radiosurgery and brachytherapy, as well as workflow enhancing software systems across the spectrum of cancer care,” Santen said.
A final decision will not be reached in this case until spring of 2017, where Elekta hopes to be successful.
“Being a global issue and seeing that products are transported from Sweden to the United States, the prime decision-makers in this dispute are six paneled individuals working for the International Trade Commission. Also noted in the dispute other than patent infringement is the importation and sale of the medical software; therefore, the ITC will make the final decision for the case."
One of the top providers of medical systems worldwide, Elekta’s products are used in numerous hospitals and doctor’s offices, also employing thousands of workers locally and globally with corporate headquarters located in Stockholm, Sweden.