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Hill-Rom, General Electric Settle Patent Lawsuit

Posted On August 26, 2014

By Mike Perleberg

hand-washing-nurse(Batesville, Ind.) – Hill-Rom and General Electric are agreeing to wash their hands of a federal patent infringement lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed by Batesville-based Hill-Rom against GE in U.S. District Court in Virginia in May. Hill-Rom demanded an order to block GE’s use of the patent and unspecified cash damages.

The complaint centered around a hand washing system designed for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Hill-Rom, one of the world’s leading hospital equipment manufacturers, accused GE of infringing on three of its patents for the system developed 15 years ago.

In a settlement announced Monday, Hill-Rom has agreed to license the hand hygiene patents to General Electric. Also, GE won’t contest the Hill-Rom patents.

“We’re pleased to reach this settlement, which recognizes the value of the innovation at the heart of the Hill-Rom Hand Hygiene Solution,” said Alton Shader, Hill-Rom’s Senior Vice President and President North America. “Protecting our intellectual property is a vital part of our product development process, which allows us to develop new technologies that enhance outcomes for patients and their caregivers.”

According to a press release from the company, the Hill-Rom Hand Hygiene Compliance Solution system uses badge locating technology that offers automatic, continuous monitoring of hand-hygiene station use, to help address health care-acquired infections associated with over 75,000 deaths a year in the United States alone.  Alerts are sent to caregivers to gently remind them of missed hand-hygiene opportunities.  Once installed, the system can automate the clinical environment to drive productivity and safety, and benefit the patient environment. The system can also be leveraged beyond hygiene monitoring for other applications, including staff locating, asset tracking, environmental monitoring and other process automation applications.

The patents list among their three inventors Dennis Gallant, of Harrison, and Timothy Wildman, of Metamora.

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