Almost three years ago a jury decided Medtronic’s CoreValve TAVI device infringed on the intellectual property of Edwards Lifesciences with its Sapien device. After much legal process it has been reported that Medtronic has finally settled the amount owing from proceedings that actually go back six years.
Medtronic acquired CoreValve back in 2009 for a reported $700M, two years into the start of a legal dispute between CoreValve and Edwards Lifesciences. In April 2010 a jury decided that the Edwards patent was valid and that it was infringed by the CoreValve device. Edwards was awarded $74M, but the story wasn’t over, Medtronic appealing the decision until in November 2012 a judge upheld the original jury decision. The figure that Medtronic’s hand has falteringly struggled to write on the check has crept up with interest to $83.6M.
So what happens next? It seems that by being found to infringe Edwards’ patent, Medtronic may have cut itself out of the U.S. market. That’s what Edwards would clearly like to see happen and it will no doubt be seeking an injunction to do just that. It’s SEC filing hints that the option to file an injunction is open. CoreValve is not FDA approved for sales in the U.S. and it looks like if Edwards has its way, there’s a chance it might not need to be.
As far as European markets are concerned, both products are approved for sale, although legal wrangling over intellectual property continues.