Cordis pays Spectralytics $22.4M in patent case

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The U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Spectralytics in a patent infringement case that alleged that Cordis, a Johnson & Johnson company, “willfully” infringed upon Spectralytics' ‘277 coronary stent patent. The decision awarded Spectralytics $22.4 million and affirms a previous ruling by the District Court of Minnesota.

Dassel, Minn.-based Spectralytics suspected that New Brunswick, N.J.-based Cordis and its supplier Norman Noble infringed on Spectralytics’ patent. The district court granted Spectralytics motion for a permanent injunction and denied the defendants motions for a new trial as well as denied motion for enhanced damages and attorney fees based on the jury’s verdict.

“Each side challenges rulings adverse to it, although the defendants do not appeal the judgment of infringement. We affirm on all aspects, except for the district court's application of the law of willful infringement,” the U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit ruled.

In August 1995, Spectralytics built a “swiss-style” laser machine to cut and produce steel stents and the company and supplier Norman Noble entered a confidentiality agreement to facilitate discussions of a possible business arrangement. Spectralytics alleged that Norman Noble built a similar swiss-style stent cutting machine that had the same work piece fixture as the Spectralytics machine. Spectralytics first filed the patent infringement suit against Cordis in 2005 and in August 2006 Spectralytics added Norman Noble as a defendant.

The jury awarded damages at a rate of 5 percent of the sales price received by Norman Noble from Cordis for the laser-cut stents.

“The judgment of validity, infringement and the royalty rate for measurement of damages is affirmed,” the court stated. However, the judge denied Spectralytics' proposal for enhanced damages and legal fees. “The denial of enhanced damages and attorney fees is vacated, and the case is remanded for redetermination of these issues, as well as other steps appropriate to completion of this litigation,” the court concluded.