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USPTO Rejects Magnolia Medical Patent Claims Against Kurin

This story has been updated with comments from Magnolia Medical.

NEW YORK – The US Patent and Trademark Office has rejected claims made by Magnolia Medical to stop Kurin from selling its blood collection device, Kurin announced on Tuesday. 

The USPTO rejected two claims in US Patent No. 10,039,483, assigned to Magnolia, due to multiple examples of prior art, Kurin said in a statement. The dispute is related to technology intended to reduce the rate of false positive results in tests for blood-borne infections by reducing contamination from a patient's skin. Magnolia developed a method of removing those contaminants by separating out the first portion of blood from a sample. 

The claims are related to the inlet and outlet ports, fluid reservoir, vent, and seal in the blood collection device. 

"We strongly believe that we do not infringe the '483 patent, but also believe the patent was preceded by other inventions that should render it invalid," Kurin CEO Bob Rogers said in a statement.

In July 2022, a jury in the US District Court for the District of Delaware unanimously ruled that Kurin had used Magnolia's Initial Specimen Diversion Device technology without permission and awarded Magnolia $2.1 million in damages. In September 2022, Magnolia Medical filed a motion for permanent injunction against Kurin to stop the latter company from selling its own blood collection device. The companies continue to be engaged in ongoing litigation, according to Rogers. 

In an email, Magnolia CEO Greg Bullington said the USPTO's action is not a final decision but "a first step that is typical in the [reexamination] process."

"Any final conclusion about patentability will come at the end of the PTO process. That well-defined process includes several more in-depth steps beyond this initial review and opinion offered by the Examiner that was assigned to the case," he added. 

"We should never forget that Kurin’s CEO testified under oath to a jury that he did not know how his device worked before selling it to hospitals to use on patients," Bullington noted. "The jury rejected that argument and took merely an hour to find that Kurin infringes. Kurin also ran several invalidity arguments, each of which the jury rejected. We therefore are confident that we will prevail in this reexamination."