In a 7-1 decision written by Justice Alito, the Supreme Court concluded that the six-year statutory period of limitations during which a patent infringement claim must be commenced cannot be shortened based on the equitable doctrine known as laches. The decision provides certainty as to the damages period for patent infringement and allows SCA to proceed with its claim for pre-suit damages against First Quality.
“We are thrilled that the Supreme Court ruled in our favor. SCA can now pursue all of the damages to which it is entitled for First Quality’s infringement of SCA’s patent rights. SCA is fully committed to the protection and defense of our industry-leading innovations,” says Michael Feenan, vice president Sales & Marketing, SCA Incontinence Care North America.
SCA is at the forefront of developing products that minimize the impact of incontinence and improve the dignity and everyday lives of people. SCA’s Tena brand is the worldwide leader in the management of incontinence, with products and services for individual consumers as well as healthcare facilities throughout 100 countries. This includes a full line of absorbent products tailored to the distinct needs of men and women, as well as a complete range of skincare products.
In 2010, SCA sued First Quality for infringement of its U.S. Patent Number 6,375,646, covering adult incontinence products in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in Bowling Green, KY. On First Quality’s petition, the lower court dismissed SCA’s claim for pre-suit damages, a decision which has now been reversed by the Supreme Court. The case will return to Kentucky for trial on both pre- and post-suit damages.