November 12, 2017 / 10:13 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Fisher & Paykel says UK court rules rival Resmed's patent is invalid

* UK court rules Resmed’s patent for mask invalid - F&P Healthcare

* Allows F&P Healthcare to sell similar masks in UK

* Legal proceedings still underway in Germany and U.S. (Adds context on wider legal proceedings, market reaction)

WELLINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - New Zealand’s Fisher & Paykel Healthcare said on Monday that it could continue to sell its sleep apnea masks in Britain as a UK court had ruled that rival Resmed Inc’s patent was invalid.

Fisher & Paykel filed the case against California-based Resmed in Britain’s High Court in 2016, and has similar legal proceedings underway in Germany, after Resmed had said the New Zealand company’s masks violated Resmed patents.

“This result confirms that UK patients can continue to purchase and enjoy the benefits of our high-performance masks,” Fisher & Paykel said in a statement in which it announced the UK court ruling.

Resmed said in a statement that it was “disappointed” in the court’s decision and was considering an appeal. It added that the ruling had no impact on its court proceedings in other countries.

The U.S. company has launched legal action against Fisher & Paykel in Germany and the United States.

It is pursuing court proceedings in a U.S. District Court, but dropped a complaint against Fisher & Paykel to the U.S. International Trade Commission in May.

“We are confident that when the courts in those countries apply their different evidentiary rules and validity procedures, we will prevail,” Resmed said in the statement.

In September, a German court suspended the American firm’s intellectual property proceedings against Fisher & Paykel while the two waited for the outcome of a European Patent Office decision over Resmed’s patents.

Fisher & Paykel shares were largely unchanged on Monday, edging down 0.8 percent after the stock market opened to NZ$13.20 ($9.14), just below a record high of $13.55 hit last week. ($1 = 1.4447 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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