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3M threatens legal action; Andover pulls bandages off market

Andover Healthcare Inc. pulls its compression bandage system off the market in the face of a legal move by 3M Co. to enforce a recently won patent.

3M Co. forced a compression bandage system made by Andover Healthcare Inc. off the market by threatening to seek a legal injunction barring sales of the product.

The company’s subsidiary 3M Innovative Properties Co. won a patent covering its Coban 2 Layer compression bandage products last December and promptly levied a patent infringement lawsuit against Salisbury, Mass.-based Andover Healthcare, which makes a similar product.

3M was seeking a preliminary injunction barring sales of Andover’sCoFlex two-layer compression bandage systems, but dropped that bid after Andover pulled the products from the market, according to 3M.

The bandages are for the treatment of venous leg ulcers. 3M launched the Coban system in 2006 and introduced the 2 Layer Lite bandages in early 2010, according to the company. Andover introduced its initialCoFlexproducts in 1989, according to itswebsite.

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3M filed a trademark infringement suit against Andover in April over packaging for the same product line, according to court documents. 3M withdrew the suit in June after Andover pulled the allegedly infringing packaging from the market, according to 3M spokeswoman Donna Fleming Runyon.