AGA Medical to pay $57M to Medtronic over patent dispute

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A U.S. district court jury in San Francisco has awarded Medtronic $57 million in past damages, finding that AGA Medical's manufacture, sale and use of its Amplatzer Occluder and vascular plug product lines infringed claims of two U.S. patents owned by Medtronic.

The jury also ordered that AGA pay Medtronic a royalty of 11 percent on future U.S. sales of the infringing products through 2018.

The patents involved in the case are U.S. Patent Nos. 6,306,141 and 5,067,957, known as the Jervis patents, according to the Minneapolis-based Medtronic. The '141 patent covers self-expanding medical devices using stress to restrain a metal alloy that will expand to its original shape upon being released from a restraint, such as a sheath. This allows doctors to locate and expand a medical device to repair holes in the heart, treat aortic aneurysms, place stents within the peripheral vasculature or treat damaged or diseased heart valves via a less invasive, transcatheter heart valve procedure. The '957 patent, which expired in 2004, covers a method of treatment using shape memory alloys, such as nitinol, in accordance with the Jervis inventions.

Medtronic also is asserting the same patents against W.L. Gore & Associates, in a separate case scheduled to begin Aug. 31 in the same U.S. district court.