California company Varian to pay Pitt $35M to settle patent infringement lawsuit
A California company agreed to pay the University of Pittsburgh $35 million to settle a patent infringement lawsuit, officials said.
Pitt sued Varian Medical Systems Inc. of Palo Alto in 2007, claiming the company infringed on a university patent for radiotherapy equipment used in cancer treatment.
Varian turned a profit of almost $1 billion on related products during a 10-year period, court documents show.
A federal judge in April 2012 ordered Varian to pay Pitt $73.6 million plus interest, legal fees and ongoing royalties for patent infringement.
“Varian will pay a lump sum of approximately $35 million to fully settle this matter,” the company said in a release.
Pitt officials said they were happy with an appeals court decision last week that resolved the case.
“The university looks forward to receiving a final damage award in a case which has been in litigation for seven years,” said spokesman Ken Service.
In the original suit, Pitt alleged that Varian infringed on two patents pertaining to the university's image-guided radiology technology. It uses X-ray imaging that allows physicians to spot tumors and direct radiation more accurately. One patent deals with equipment that responds to patient movement during diagnosis and treatment, and the other allows the matching of X-ray images with previous images.
The settlement was contingent on a federal appeals court ruling issued last week, which upheld the judge's decision, but said the infringement was not “willful.”
Under the settlement, Varian will not owe any royalty payments and Varian customers will continue to be able to use the products, company officials said in the statement.
The lawsuit was the latest in a growing string of patent victories for universities.
A jury in 2013 awarded Carnegie Mellon University $1.17 billion because a Bermuda-based computer chip manufacturer, Marvell Technology Group, appropriated CMU research for a chip used in high-speed drives.
The University of Minnesota won a 1999 patent licensing case that was expected to generate $300 million for the school, and a federal jury in 2008 ordered Hewlett-Packard to pay New York's Cornell University $184 million in an infringement case.
The Bayh-Dole Act, a 1980 federal law designed to funnel the fruits of federally funded research to the marketplace, stipulated that money from licensing and royalties should flow to the researcher and the university to encourage innovation and fund research.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Carrick crime ‘blitz’ shows early signs of success
- Pittsburgh police deliver 2,500 Thanksgiving meals through program
- Alpine touring skiing movement faces uphill climb in Western Pa.
- Pittsburgh nonprofit 412 Food Rescue takes surplus food to needy
- Century Inn owner hopes to reopen Washington County landmark, gutted by fire, by end of next year
- Police investigating after cab driver shot in Hazelwood
- Security policies limit ‘insider threat’ at airports, TSA says
- Legislators, Wolf agree on one thing: Higher work zone fines
- Pet chiropractic more popular in Western Pa., but doubts linger
- Alcosan scolded for lack of clarity in plan for sewage, stormwater overflow
- Newsmaker: Dr. Mark G. Trombetta