End of TAVI Patent War Good for Patients…and Edwards

In a jaw-dropping move that will see it coughing up a vast amount of money, Medtronic, Inc. has reached a global patent settlement agreement with Edwards Lifesciences Corporation that will draw a line under the tortuous patent war that has cast its long shadow over the transcatheter valve businesses of both companies for years. Hopefully the winners, at last, are the patients.

Background

These two companies have been at it for several years now, claiming, losing, and counterclaiming all sorts of intellectual property battles that had until now ended with Medtronic looking like the infringer and Edwards the victim. And indeed it’s Medtronic that’s left looking into its coffers to make a one-time payment to Edwards of $750 million, and ongoing royalty payments through April 2022 based on a percentage of CoreValve sales, in payments of no less than $40 million annually. Under the terms of the cross-license settlement agreement, the parties will dismiss all of the pending litigation matters and patent office actions between them, and grant each other broad releases to patent litigation claims.

Unsurprisingly the agreement sees neither Medtronic nor Edwards admitting that their products infringe any patents or that any patents are invalid. But just to stop them looking for more examples the parties have agreed that neither will sue the other for patent matters anywhere in the world for eight years in the field of aortic and all other transcatheter heart valves. The upshot of all this will mean, presumably, no more injunctions and continued availability of both devices for cardiologists and their patients.

Company comments

“This agreement brings to an end years of disputes between our companies related to TAVI patents, and allows both companies to make their respective therapies available to physicians and patients around the world,” said John Liddicoat M.D., president of the Structural Heart business at Medtronic. “With this resolution, we are pleased that Medtronic will be able to continue to provide the CoreValve® System, as well as other products, to patients who need them in the U.S. and abroad without the overhang of any potential injunction or additional damages. ”

Source: Medtronic, Inc.

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