It’s a dispute that is a decade old. Does Johnson & Johnson have the patent rights to heart stents that keeps open heart arteries after they have been cleared of plaque?
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington says yes.
Monday it upheld two separate 2005 jury verdicts won by J & J's Cordis Corporation, in the second round of infringement trials in the cases against Medtronics Inc. and Boston Scientific Corp.
In the first round J & J won $324 million from Boston Scientific and $271 million from Medtronic but those awards were not reinstated because the Federal Circuit has other matters to address first.
“In light of the protracted and complex proceedings in the district court, the district judge is in a far better position than we are to determine what remains to be done to bring these matters to a close,” the appeals court said in a decision posted on its Web site.
"We are very pleased that the Court of Appeals has recognized the validity of the prior verdicts," said Todd Pope, Worldwide President, Cordis Corporation. "We will urge the U.S. District Court to move expeditiously to reinstate the two previous damages judgments, along with the interest that has accrued during the appeals process."
Johnson & Johnson was the first maker of heart stents in the 1990s. It pioneered stents with added flexibility and expandability, the subject of the patent infringement cases.
Cordis enjoyed the majority of the market until Boston Scientific and Medtronic developed competitive brands. The Medtronic and Boston Scientific stents are no longer on the market.#