Medtronic to appeal heart valve patent loss, $74M reward to Edwards

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After a long standing lawsuit involving Medtronic and Edwards Lifesciences, the U.S. District Court of the District of Delaware has ruled in favor of Edwards, rewarding the company $73.5 million, after finding Medtronic guilty of infringing upon Edwards' U.S. Andersen transcatheter heart valve patent. However, Medtronic said that it plans to appeal the jury’s verdict in the case, filed February 2008, involving the CoreValve transcatheter aortic valve system.

“We will file appropriate motions and appeals to challenge the jury verdict,” said Scott Ward, senior vice president of the Minneapolis-based Medtronic.

According to Irvine, Calif.-based Edwards, the court decision will allow the company to seek incremental damages from Medtronic of up to three times the amount awarded.

The U.S. Court decision is different from what the companies saw previously in the verdicts made about the case in the European court system. In October  2008, the District Court of Düsseldorf, Germany, rejected Edwards’ allegations that the CoreValve system infringed upon the Andersen patent.

“Medtronic is disappointed that the jury in this case reached a different conclusion than courts in England and Germany, where the CoreValve product was found not to infringe related European Andersen patents owned by Edwards,” said Ward.

Medtronic claims that “the jury verdict has no bearing on Medtronic’s ability to sell CoreValve products internationally or to conduct clinical trials in the U.S.,” according to a released statement. The company also said that the lawsuit refers to the Andersen patents, which it said are set to expire before the CoreValve products will be approved by the FDA. Currently, the CoreValve system has not yet been approved for sale or clinical trials in the U.S.

Medtronic noted that “an injunction in this case is not justified” and said that it would continue to sell CoreValve products outside of the U.S.