Glaukos Sues Ivantis over patents on iStent® Devices

April 17, 2018: Glaukos Corporation of San Clemente, CA, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Ivantis, Inc. of Irvine, CA. The lawsuit was filed April 14, 2018.

The patents involved are:
U.S. Patent No. 6,626,858 (Lynch et al.), “Shunt Device and Method For Treating Glaucoma”
U.S. Patent No. 9,827,143 (Lynch et al.), “Shunt Device and Method For Treating Ocular Disorders”

In its Complaint, Glaukos alleges that the Ivantis Hydrus Microstent device infringes on patents held by Glaukos covering its iStent® devices.

In particular, with respect to its iStent® devices, Glaukos alleges that:

“12. Glaukos’s pioneering product, the iStent® Trabecular Micro Bypass Stent (“iStent”), transformed the glaucoma treatment landscape. Because the iStent represented an entirely new class of medical device (now known as “Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery” or “MIGS”), the Glaukos team began working with the FDA in 2004 to design a first-of-its-kind pivotal clinical trial protocol to evaluate the safety and efficacy of its MIGS device. During the approval process, Glaukos spent considerable time and resources recruiting patients for the study, and educating and training physicians on this revolutionary new class of treatment, and conducting clinical trials in the U.S. and abroad.”

With respect to the patents, Glaukos alleges that Ivantis knew of the patents, and that:

“21. The Asserted Patents were co-invented by Dr. Reay Brown and Dr. Mary Lynch, and were acquired by Glaukos in 2006 while Glaukos was in the early stages of the regulatory review process. Further illustrating Ivantis’s knowledge of the foundational technologies described in the Asserted Patents and their relevance to Ivantis’s product, Ivantis’s own website refers to the patents by stating, ‘Dr. Brown has been awarded 15 patents for new instruments to improve glaucoma and cataract surgery.'”

The lawsuit seeks “seeks all available remedies for Ivantis’s willful infringement, including without limitation damages, damages enhancements for willfulness, injunctive relief requiring Ivantis to cease its infringing activities, and a judicial determination that Ivantis infringes and/or imminently will infringe one or more claims of each of the Asserted Patents.”

The case is Glaukos Corporation v. Ivantis, Inc., 8:18-cv-00620-JVS-JDE, filed April 14, 2018, in the Central District of California, Southern Division (Santa Ana). It has been assigned to Judge James V. Selna, and referred to Magistrate Judge John D. Early. Galukos is represented by Morgan Chu (and others) at Irell & Manella. Counsel for Ivantis is not yet known. A copy of the Complaint is reproduced below, and can be downloaded by clicking this link.