On November 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in favor of ALPS South, St. Petersburg, Florida, that a prosthetic gel liner patent held by WillowWood, Mt. Sterling, Ohio, is invalid.
The original suit dates back to December 2004 when WillowWood filed a complaint against ALPS for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,830,237 (237), “Gel and Cushioning Devices.” The judge sent the case back to the district court to determine if WillowWood had committed inequitable conduct during reexamination proceedings. A date for that hearing has not yet been set.
Earlier this month, on November 1, a federal court in Florida ruled on a separate case that WillowWood could no longer sell Alpha® Classic and Hybrid Liners and sleeves containing its Advanced Gel formula because it infringed on U.S. patents held by ALPS. At issue in this case were U.S. Patent No. 6,552,109 (109), “Gelatinous Elastomer Compositions and Articles,” and No. 6,867,253 (253), “Tear Resistant, Crystalline Midblock Copolymer Gels and Articles.”
Willow Wood issued a press release stating its Alpha Silicone Liners and LimbLogic® Sleeves are not impacted by the court’s order.
In a written statement in response to the ruling, WillowWood President Ryan Arborgast said, “Though we are dismayed by these outcomes, we remain dedicated to providing our customers the high-quality products they have come to trust and expect from the WillowWood brand. We expect to ask the court for clearance to provide other alternatives to our Advanced Gel formula and will update this when the court has considered and ruled on this.”