As is the way with court proceedings, we’ve likely not seen the end yet as the Mirowski family hunt down an ultimate settlement from Boston Scientific over implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) patent issues. For now though they’ve been awarded $309 million.
Dr. Michel Mirowski died back in 1990, but not before having a hand in the development of the ICD. The tale since then is both long and complicated and has for now culminated in a jury awarding the Mirowski family a total of $309 million from Boston Scientific, a combination of damages for unpaid royalties and financial harm.
Rather more full details of the case can be found on the Massdevice site here, but in essence it’s a proper old tale of alleged shenanigans involving a secret deal between Boston Scientific and its Guidant subsidiary with rival St. Jude Medical that allegedly cut Mirowski out of some $570 million in royalties and damages.
The Mirowski lawsuit alleged that Boston/Guidant and St. Jude settled 6 cases in order to keep a lid on a false testimony in an earlier patent infringement case by an expert witness for the former. Boston Scientific and Mirowski had sued St. Jude for patent infringement, winning a $313 million judgment. A false testimony in a later patent infringement lawsuit with Medtronic was thrown out of court, which saw the original judgment also reversed. In so doing, one of the patents at issue was effectively invalidated, meaning that Guidant, having lost some $377 million already, then allegedly denied royalties owed to Mirowski on the grounds that royalties can’t be owed on an invalid patent.
Boston Scientific said it believes that “the facts and the law do not support the jury’s findings or the amount of the damages” and plans to “seek to overturn the judgment in post-trial motions with the Circuit Court and, if necessary, through the appeals process.”