U.S. Surgical sued over ABBI patents

October 29, 1997

Imagyn Medical Technologies announced this month that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against U.S. Surgical, charging that the Norwalk, CT, company's ABBI breast biopsy device infringes on its patents. Imagyn filed the suit in U.S. District

Imagyn Medical Technologies announced this month that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against U.S. Surgical, charging that the Norwalk, CT, company's ABBI breast biopsy device infringes on its patents. Imagyn filed the suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, asking for damages and a halt to ABBI manufacturing and sales in the U.S.

ABBI has been a highly successful product for U.S. Surgical over the last several years, and the company has begun a campaign to directly advertise the product's noninvasive benefits to women who require breast biopsy. ABBI consists of a needle driver fitted to a stereotactic breast biopsy table supplied by Trex Medical subsidiary Lorad. The system is capable of placing a wire marker in the breast and removing a tissue sample in a single step.

Imagyn, formerly known as Urohealth, claims that ABBI infringes on patents relating to large-core breast biopsy that the Newport Beach, CA, company acquired earlier this year when it bought PEBB Biopsy of Cocoa Beach, FL. U.S. Patent No. 5,197,484 and No. 5,353,804 are the basis for a percutaneous breast biopsy product called SiteSelect that Imagyn is developing. Imagyn has filed a 510(k) application for SiteSelect and signed an agreement this month with Fischer Imaging to adapt SiteSelect to Fischer's Mammotest Plus biopsy table (see story, page 2).

A U.S. Surgical spokesperson declined to comment on the lawsuit, other than to say that the company is confident that ABBI does not infringe on Imagyn's patents.