Applied Medical Resources Corp., Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., a manufacturer of medical devices used in minimally invasive surgery, has sued Johnson & Johnson and group purchasing giant Novation for allegedly employing anticompetitive business practices. The lawsuit alleges that J&J harmed Applied's sales of trocar and clip applier products through exclusionary practices "designed to obtain and maintain (J&J's) monopoly power" in the market. A separate lawsuit was filed against J&J subsidiary Ethicon Endo-Surgery alleging infringement on Applied's patent covering certain trocar seal technology. In May J&J disclosed investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and the attorneys general of Connecticut and New York into "bundled" marketing of sutures and endoscopic instruments made by two J&J subsidiaries. Novation officials had not seen the lawsuit at deadline and could not comment, a spokesman said. A J&J spokeswoman said the company is reviewing the suit. "We believe our contracts and practices are consistent with all laws, guidelines and regulations," she said. -- by Cinda Becker
Company accuses J&J, Novation of unfair practices
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