Cook, Gore win patent infringement appeal

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a previous ruling of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California that Cook Medical and Newark, Del.-based W.L. Gore & Associates do not infringe on Edwards Lifesciences’ patents for endovascular devices to treat aneurysms.

“Since 2003, when this case began, we have remained steadfast that the claims were without merit, and we aggressively defended this case on that basis,” said Cynthia Kretz, general counsel for the Bloomington, Ind.-based Cook. The company was represented by the law firm of Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione in the litigation.

The original case, C 03-03817 JSW, involved Edwards claiming patent infringement on four of Cook’s Zenith endovascular stent-grafts for use in treating abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) and thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAAs).

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reaffirmed the District Court’s ruling, “that no reasonable jury could find infringement” or “conclude that Cook’s accused devices” literally infringed the Edwards patents, and “that Edwards cannot, as a matter of law, show that Cook’s accused devices infringe the patents-in-suit under the doctrine of equivalents. Cook, therefore, is entitled to judgment in its favor on this basis as well,” the court wrote in its original decision.

The Irvine, Calif.-based Edwards said that although the firm is disappointed in the court's ruling, it does not impact any of Edwards' businesses because the company discontinued its AAA product line in April 2006.

Another co-defendant in the case, Minneapolis-based Medtronic, settled with Edwards in January 2006, including a payment of $37.5 million.