Fujifilm files patent, antitrust suit against Hologic

2018 01 31 19 14 5078 Law Books 400

Fujifilm Medical Systems USA and parent company Fujifilm Corporation have filed a patent and antitrust lawsuit against women's imaging firm Hologic, opening a new front in their ongoing legal battle over digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) intellectual property.

Filed on March 2 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, the suit accuses Hologic of antitrust violations and infringement on four Fujifilm patents for capturing and processing DBT images. Fujifilm is seeking compensation for "injuries caused by Hologic infringement and anticompetitive conduct and injunctive relief to stop further infringement and unlawful conduct," according to the complaint, which was posted online by the Worcester Business Journal.

"Hologic has infringed Fujifilm patents, engaged in an anticompetitive scheme to establish and maintain an illegal monopoly in certain mammography systems that use leading technology to screen for and diagnose breast cancer, and interfered intentionally with Fujifilm contracts and business relationships," the suit states. "As a result, Fujifilm and U.S. consumers have suffered and will continue to suffer substantial injury, while Hologic threatens to maintain an unlawful, dominant position in the manufacture and supply of 3D and 2D upgradeable digital mammography systems in the United States."

Not their first rodeo

Fujifilm's filing comes nearly 10 months after Hologic initially sued the company in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, charging it with violating a variety of patents covering x-ray mammography with tomosynthesis and other related mammography technologies used in its Selenia Dimensions system. That trial is scheduled to begin in April, according to a Bloomberg report.

In its new suit, Fujifilm is claiming that Hologic has used Fujifilm's patented DBT technology in its 3D Dimensions and Selenia Dimensions devices. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared Fujifilm's DBT system, Aspire Cristalle, in January 2017; it is about half the price of Hologic's DBT systems and should have increased overall market demand, the suit said.

"Hologic is ... concerned that Fujifilm poses a competitive threat to Hologic's supra-competitive prices. Hologic knows that Fujifilm has a history of providing reasonably priced, high-quality products. Indeed, Fujifilm's new 3D mammography system is approximately half the price of Hologic's 3D mammography system," the suit said. "Hologic is concerned that it would need to significantly reduce its prices in order to compete with Fujifilm. Because Hologic does not want to give up its monopoly profits, it has engaged in an anticompetitive scheme to preserve its monopoly position."

The complaint alleges that Hologic's anticompetitive scheme to bar Fujifilm from the U.S. market has included bringing sham litigation claims against Fujifilm regarding its Aspire Cristalle system, disseminating false and misleading advertising about Hologic's products to the public, and communicating false and misleading statements about Aspire Cristalle to potential Fujifilm customers.

No resolution

Fujifilm and Hologic met with a mediator on February 13 but couldn't reach a resolution, Bloomberg reported.

Hologic declined to comment on Fujifilm's suit, company spokeswoman Jane Mazur told AuntMinnie.com, stating that it does not speak about ongoing litigation.

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