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J&J Settles Tumor Detection Systems Dispute

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 3:51am

Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Endo-Surgery unit will get $12.5 million from medical imaging equipment maker Hologic, Inc. to end disputes over tumor detection systems used to test for breast cancer. Each will pay the other royalties on future sales of their respective breast biopsy devices, the companies said in statements.

The agreement covers a dispute in federal court that was in the midst of jury deliberations. Ethicon first sued Hologic in 2007, claiming that Hologic’s surgical devices, used to perform breast biopsies to test for cancer, infringed its patents. In subsequent lawsuits, Ethicon claimed Hologic’s Eviva biopsy system infringed patents, while Hologic contended that Ethicon’s Mammotome MR breast biopsy system infringed a patent for minimally invasive surgical instruments.

Hologic said it will record a $12.5 million charge for the quarter ending March 27. The ATEC devices, made by Hologic’s Suros Surgical Systems, Inc., compete with Ethicon’s Mammotome breast biopsy line. ATEC stands for automated tissue excision and collection. Hologic paid $240 million in 2006 to buy Suros Surgical Systems.

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