APEX Medical takes on ResMed's patents
By Kathryn Chiu, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's major support surfaces provider APEX Medical Corp. (雃博) yesterday announced challenges to six patents of Nasdaq-listed ResMed, making itself the first Taiwan-based biotech firm to initiate legal action against a multinational.
August 21, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
APEX Medical Corp. (APEX) yesterday announced at a press conference its challenges to six of the seven patents that were involved in an investigation by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which was terminated by the ITC on Aug. 9.
Invalidity challenges brought by APEX before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are those ResMed asserted in a patent litigation in March against APEX.
APEX told a media briefing that it challenges these patents in accordance with the new procedure under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), which allows reexamination of issued patents if substantial invalidity evidence is provided.
According to United Evening News, the patents challenged by APEX are used in component designs of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines intended to mitigate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
APEX's independent director Yan-peng Zhou (周延鵬) sat side by side with the founder and first chairman of Taiwan Society of Sleep Medicine (TSSM) Hsiao Kuang-ming (蕭光明) at the press conference yesterday. Zhou used to be chief legal office of Hon Hai Precision, battling against many electronics multinationals in the court for Hon Hai over patent infringement issues.
Also, official websites of related government agencies posted APEX's announcement of invalidity challenges yesterday, leading Taiwanese media to widely highlight APEX's counteraction as propaganda when Taiwan's government is throwing bags of money on biotechnology industry.
Zhou said multinationals, by force of habit, take legal action against late comers in anticipation of knocking them out. However, Zhou said systemic and methodical approach will enable APEX to remove patent landmines buried by multinationals, setting a milestone for Taiwan-based biotech company.