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ResMed seeks ban on US import of Fisher & Paykel products; files patent lawsuit

ResMed Inc. filed a petition with the U.S. trade watchdog seeking a ban on importation of certain products from rival Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp. Ltd.

San Diego-based ResMed said it asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to ban the importation and U.S. sales of the Auckland, New Zealand-based company's Simplus full face mask, Eson nasal mask and Eson 2 nasal mask.

ResMed alleged that Simplus infringes on five of its patents, while Eson and Eson 2 infringe on three of the five patents. The masks are used to manage sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.

In May 2017, ReMed withdrew a complaint against Fisher & Paykel following a pretrial ruling by the ITC, but said it could refile the complaint.

Further, ResMed filed a new patent infringement lawsuit against Fisher & Paykel in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, seeking damages as well as an injunction against U.S. sales of the masks.

Meanwhile, Fisher & Paykel said it will contest the patent allegations filed in the ITC and district court. The company also lowered full fiscal year 2019 guidance due to expected legal costs related to the U.S. litigation.

Fisher & Paykel now expects net profit after tax for 2019 to be in the range of about NZ$205 to NZ$210 million, down from the previously announced NZ$215 million. The company added that guidance for 2019 half year result remains unchanged.

The two healthcare equipment companies have been in litigation since August 2016, with patent infringement cases in Germany, Australia and the U.K. over similar products.

As of Aug. 31, US$1 was equivalent to NZ$1.51.