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Covidien wins patent infringement suit against Ethicon Endo-Surgery

Covidien (NYSE: COV), a leading global provider of healthcare products, today announced that it has won a patent infringement suit against Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, relating to Ethicon’s Harmonic® line of ultrasonic surgical products.

The federal court awarded Covidien a $176.5 million verdict upon ruling that several claims of Covidien’s patents were valid, enforceable, and infringed by Ethicon. The amount of the verdict, which could be appealed, was based on an 8 percent royalty rate on infringing sales through March 2012, plus prejudgment interest.

“As a global healthcare market leader, Covidien invests significant resources into creating and developing medical innovations. We are pleased that the federal court recognized our innovation in ultrasonic surgical devices, finding our patents both valid and infringed by Ethicon Endo-Surgery. We will continue to vigorously protect our innovative products, solutions and intellectual property,” stated Chris Barry, President, Advanced Surgical Technologies, Covidien.

The federal court found that Ethicon infringed Covidien’s U.S. Patents 6,063,050, 6,468,286, and 6,682,544, each relating to ultrasonic cutting and coagulation surgical devices.

Desperately Seeking Superstars: Three Can’t-Miss Interview Questions

Blog Interview from Linkedin










Reading this morning’s jobs report, I was glad to see improvement over the last several months, but still shocked that the unemployment rate remains so high. I continually hear from friends that their companies can’t hire fast enough, yet new job creation remains depressed across the country. The startup world is hungry for new talent, innovative ideas, and great people to build their companies. ZocDoc currently has 120 open positions and most startups I know are working hard to bring great people on board.

Why is it that so many innovative companies have such a hard time finding top people to join their teams while millions of capable, engaged individuals struggle to find work? It appears to me that there is a huge information gap on both sides of the equation: many candidates don’t apply for roles they would excel in, assuming they’re not qualified to work in certain departments, companies, or industries while hiring managers often get hung up on a candidate’s resume and miss great people who would be tremendous assets to the team.

I frequently remind managers to consider a potential candidate’s intrinsic qualities and remember that while hard skills can be taught or enhanced, someone’s natural talents are a better predictor of success. Early in ZocDoc’s growth, I was close to hiring a candidate for business development who I believed had the tenacity, sales skills, and intelligence that we needed to move to the next level. I ultimately passed, because it seemed as if his resume was too short and his experience wasn’t specific enough to our industry. I regretted my decision afterward and still do. He would have been an excellent addition to the team but I allowed the resume to make my decision. This experience stayed with me and it soon became clear that my potential next hire was around every corner. Years ago when ZocDoc was planning to expand to Chicago, a small group of us spent a few days on the ground to learn the market and understand the layout of the city. While there, we met a server at a pizza restaurant who floored us with her helpfulness and ability to stay cool in stressful situations. We were looking for an office manager at the time and encouraged her to apply. Three years later, she’s incredibly savvy in negotiating property deals and has been integral in fostering the culture here at ZocDoc.

How do you gauge intrinsics in an interview? How do you really learn someone’s true nature? It’s challenging, of course, but preparedness goes a long way in talking to candidates. Everyone has their go-to interview questions, and I spoke with a few friends to understand their tactics to suss out whether or not a person will be a good fit for their organization:

Which aspect of your job do you like the least?

Siggi Hilmarsson of Siggi’s Diary is fond of this question, which allows the interviewer to quickly understand the candidate’s disposition and ability to communicate honestly, effectively, and diplomatically. This question will also uncover the candidate’s peeves, allowing you to determine whether or not there might be conflicts with other members of the team or the organization on the whole.

What motivates you to work hard?

I loved H. Bloom CEO Bryan Burkhart’s rationale for this question:

“When I ask this question, I’m looking for superlatives: ‘I am extremely driven. I rowed crew in college and wanted to be the best,’ or ‘I am a perfectionist. I work hard to ensure that everything is perfect,’ or ‘I am so passionate about this industry. I want to delight everyone with our service.’ This might sound a bit strange, but I’m looking for intensity in body language. I want to hire people who hear this question and lean forward, make unequivocal eye contact, and speak with conviction.”

How does your behavior at work differ from that at home or with friends?

I’m a fan of this question for a number of reasons. It’s unexpected, which encourages a candidate to get out of autopilot and have a thoughtful and natural conversation with the interviewer. The response should indicate that the candidate has a healthy sense of self-awareness and adaptability. Don’t look for the “right” answer, but rather a clear indication that the candidate has learned from prior positions and can effectively articulate how he or she continues to improve. This quality – the desire to always grow and improve – is one of the traits that we most value at ZocDoc, and this question can be great for uncovering this drive in candidates.

With graduation season on the horizon and scores of new job-seekers joining the search for a career, let’s remember to keep an open mind about who we invite to join our teams. Be sure to encourage everyone in your organization to think in the same way, because you never know where your next great contributor will come from. Referrals are an awesome way to grow your team and you’ll be wowed by what happens when your whole company takes on the role of recruiter (we’ve got great hiring stories about helpful store clerks and chatty neighbors on airplanes to prove it!).

Do you have a great unexpected hiring story or special interview question you ask? Let me know in the comments below!

Devices and Diagnostics News: Elevated protease activity made easy

Elevated protease activity (EPA) may disrupt wound healing. This Made Easy describes the types of wounds that may have EPA and how wounds with EPA may be identified. The methods that may be used to reduce protease activity to a level where healing can progress are also discussed.

Wounds with EPA, and therefore at risk of delayed healing, can now be readily identified using the WOUNDCHEK™ Protease Status point of care test. The wounds identified as have EPA can receive targeted treatment to modulate protease activity with the expectation that both clinical and economic outcomes will be improved.

This made easy has been supported by Systagenix.

Devices and Diagnostics News: ANGLE appoints regulatory expert as Parsortix development steps up a gear

ANGLE (LON:AGL) may receive European regulatory approval for its Parsortix cancer screening device by the end of the year, according to the company appointed to oversee the process.

Medical Device Management (MDM), a specialist in regulatory submissions of medical devices, will manage the approval process for the clinical use of Parsortix.

Parsortix is a non-invasive device used to capture and identify circulating tumour circulating cells and has the potential to transform the way the disease is identified and treated.

In the European Union, marketing authorisation will be via a CE Mark, which will give approval for clinical sales throughout the EU.

In the US, the process will involve a submission of a 510(k) application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Authorisation under 510(k) will allow the company to make the product available throughout the US for use in treating patients.

MDM’s initial analysis agrees with ANGLE’s expectation of regulatory authorisation in the EU by the end of the current calendar year and a submission to the FDA in the US in early 2014.

ANGLE added it has had a stream of potential users expressing interest in the product, particularly in its harvesting capability.

Major hospitals, leading research groups and several commercial companies from the UK, US, Canada and Australia have already expressed interest, ANGLE said.

Andrew Newland, chief executive, said: “We are very pleased to have put in place a plan for securing regulatory authorisations in Europe and the United States.

“MDM are experts in this field and it is reassuring that they have expressed confidence in our ability to secure the authorisations needed to enter the multi-billion dollar market for the clinical use of our cell separating technology.”

MDM has a client base that ranges from small innovative companies to international medical devices businesses.

Vanessa Nornberg offers a fascinating insight into the importance of recruitment. Worth a read!

Vanessa Merit NornbergWhen it comes to sourcing the right interview candidates, I’ve never been keen to use recruiters. But I recently changed my mind.

My company, Metal Mafia, has an excellent candidate screening process, a super training program, and a very successful team of employees to show for it.

But hiring has always been a difficult task for me because each time I get ready to hire, it takes me forever to find the right type of candidates to even get the screening process started.

Despite the fact that I carefully consider where to advertise for candidates–I try to maximize the search dollars and get a good mix of potential applicants–it always takes me a long time to find people suited well to the company, and therefore, even worth interviewing.

I’ve tried everything from placing ads on large job boards like, to smaller specialized job boards that cater to sales hires or fashion jobs, to local university boards where I can post for free (or close to it). Each time, I experience the same slow crawl toward finally finding the right person. It has taken me up to five months to find the right kind of hire in the past. So in November when I decided I needed to think about hiring for the new year, I was not optimistic.

For me, recruiters have traditionally been out of the question because I figured they would be a waste of time and never be as good at sending me the right people for the job as I would be in reviewing resumes myself. They’re also too expensive for my small budget. But as I got ready to place my job ads again, one of my senior staff members came to me and offered me the name of a fashion recruiter she knew and thought could help. I was skeptical, but I called her anyway, figuring listening would cost me nothing.

The recruiter convinced me she would do a thorough job, but I still hesitated because of the price. I do not have large sums of money to devote to the hiring process, and by my calculations, when all was said and done, using the recruiter was going to cost me three times as much as my usual techniques. On the other hand, the recruiter would only charge me if she found someone I decided to hire, which meant I was risking nothing, and could always come back to my original methods. I bit the bullet and signed up, reminding myself “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

The recruiter sent me the resumes of 10 entry-level candidates. I screened six by phone, met three in person, and found the right hire–all in a month. The cost suddenly became much less, because I saved so much time in the process, and because I got a pool of applicants who were decidedly better to choose from than in the past. Even more interesting, perhaps, was an insight the right candidate shared with me during the interview process. When I asked why she had chosen to work with a recruiter rather than post on job boards, she said “because recruiters make sure your resume gets seen, while submitting via the Internet is like sending your resume into oblivion.”

If most people these days are thinking like my new hire, the recruiters will clearly have the best selection of candidates every time. Looks like I’ve got an essential new hiring strategy.

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