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Baxter claims Fresenius violated hemodialysis machine patents
Bloomberg News
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Published: 4/30/2008 11:38 AM

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Deerfield-based Baxter International Inc., the world's biggest maker of blood-disease treatments, filed a lawsuit claiming Fresenius Medical Care AG violated its patents for a hemodialysis machine.

Fresenius was aware of the patents and was "willful" in infringing them with its 2008K machine, Baxter claims in the suit filed April 28 in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The patents are used in a machine for treating kidney failure.

Fresenius and Baxter have been battling in court for the past five years, debating patents for kidney dialysis machines. A federal judge in Oakland, Calif., on April 4 barred Fresenius from marketing the 2008K dialysis machine beginning Jan. 1, 2009. In November, a jury decided that Fresenius must pay Baxter $14.3 million for using its dialysis technology. Pretrial interest broughtt he total to $17.2 million.

"In view of its calculated decision to serially infringe Baxter's patents -- especially after having one permanent injunction entered against it already -- Fresenius's conduct is objectively reckless and constitutes willful infringement," Baxter wrote in its lawsuit.

Fresenius, based in Bad Homburg, Germany, is the world's biggest provider of kidney dialysis equipment. The best-selling 2008K kidney dialysis machine has made billions of dollars for Fresenius, Baxter claims.

A representative for Fresenius's Waltham, Mass.-based North American unit didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.