Zone Medical, LLC Announces That The U.S. Patent Office Rejected All Claims of Key Patent of I-Flow Corporation

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Zone Medical, LLC, the worldwide distributor for the Solace® Post Operative Pain Relief System, reports that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected all claims in the I-Flow Corporation U.S. Patent No. 5,284,481, entitled Compact Collapsible Infusion Apparatus. (Reexamination Control No. 90/008,880) All claims were rejected as anticipated or obvious in view of prior art. I-Flow has filed suit against Zone claiming infringement of this patent. Zone believes decision is a victory in its David vs. Goliath battle with I-Flow.

Zone Medical, LLC, the worldwide distributor for the Solace® Post Operative Pain Relief System, reports that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected all claims in the I-Flow Corporation U.S. Patent No. 5,284,481, entitled Compact Collapsible Infusion Apparatus. (Reexamination Control No. 90/008,880) On September 29, 2008, the U.S. Patent Office issued an Office Action in the Reexamination of I-Flow's patent for infusion devices (the '481 Patent). All claims were rejected as anticipated or obvious in view of prior art. Over fifteen months ago, I-Flow filed case No. 07-cv-1200 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in which I-Flow alleged that the Solace pump infringes the '481 Patent. The Office Action by the Patent Office supports Zone's belief that the '481 Patent is not valid. Zone is pleased to note that in the Office Action, the Patent Office specifically relied on positions of I-Flow Corporation and on rulings of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in the rejections of all claims that I-Flow alleges against the Solace pump (Office Action, page 4, lines 4-8).

The Solace pump is a revolutionary new design optimized for pain management applications. Mark McGlothlin, founder and President of Zone, commented: "We are very pleased that the USPTO has rejected all the claims of the I-Flow '481 Patent. Our Solace product is an affordable, latex-free infusion pump designed to compete against latex-containing pumps, which currently dominate the market. We believe I-Flow's lawsuit is designed to force us to use our resources to defend costly litigation instead of competing in the market based on the merits of our respective products. This is a David vs. Goliath situation where we believe I-Flow has chosen to use litigation to distract attention from the fact that their product is based on 20 year old technology and contains Natural Rubber Latex that may contact patients and caregivers."

The Solace Pain Management System (http://www.solacepainrelief.com) was launched in July, 2007 and has been well-received by surgeons and patients worldwide in both inpatient and outpatient environments.

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Michael Marasco
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