Maquet Files Suit against Saphena Medical, Inc. and Dr. Albert Chin to Protect its Intellectual Property


Maquet Cardiovascular, LLC, a worldwide leader in medical devices for endoscopic vessel harvesting, filed a lawsuit on December 16, 2016 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Maquet is protecting its intellectual property rights by suing Saphena Medical, Inc. and Dr. Albert Chin, a former Maquet employee, for their direct and indirect infringement of Maquet’s patents, and Dr. Chin’s breach of agreements with Maquet.

Maquet’s complaint asserts that Saphena and Dr. Chin are infringing by their activities in connection with Saphena’s Venapax System, which directly competes with Maquet’s VasoView products. With a history of developing solutions for hospitals that dates back to its founding in 1838, Maquet’s innovations have resulted in many exclusive, valuable and proprietary rights, including the three patents that are the subject of this lawsuit: U.S. Patent Nos. 5,916,233, 6,705,986, and 7,534,243. All of these patents are directed in general to endoscopic vessel harvesting.

When Dr. Chin worked at Maquet, his research included endoscopic vessel harvesting devices and techniques, including work that led to the development of Maquet’s VasoView products. Maquet takes its commitment to research and innovation seriously and, understanding this commitment, Dr. Chin agreed to keep his research results, and the results of Maquet’s other employees, confidential. After leaving Maquet, Dr. Chin co-founded two start-ups that Maquet believes are built at least in part upon his research at Maquet. The first start-up, Pavilion Medical Innovations, LLC, is an incubator that Maquet believes leveraged Dr. Chin’s research at Maquet to incubate Saphena. In fact, Saphena’s sole product is the Venapax endoscopic vessel harvesting system. Maquet believes the Venapax System uses Maquet’s patented technology and that Dr. Chin has used and disclosed information in violation of his agreements with Maquet and its predecessors.

Maquet encourages medical device innovation for all healthcare systems, doctors, and their patients. At the same time, Maquet enforces its rights when necessary to protect its research investment and the efforts of its employees. “For over 175 years Maquet has built its business through innovation and quality. Saphena’s infringement in view of Maquet’s investment in endoscopic vein harvesting is simply intolerable, and we are left with no choice but to defend our intellectual property,” said Jens Viebke, President of Maquet’s Acute Care Business Unit.

View the filed complaint here.

About Maquet
Maquet is part of Getinge Group, a leading global provider of innovative solutions for operating rooms, intensive-care units, hospital wards, sterilization departments, elderly care and for life science companies and institutions. Getinge Group operates under the three brands of ArjoHuntleigh, Getinge and Maquet. With a genuine passion for life we build quality and safety into every system. Our unique value proposition mirrors the continuum of care, enhancing efficiency throughout the clinical pathway. Based on our first-hand experience and close partnerships, we are able to exceed expectations from customers – improving the every-day life for people, today and tomorrow.