Jury awards Boston Scientific $19.5M in Cordis patent case

Boston Scientific Corp. said Thursday that a District Court jury in Delaware found that Cordis Corp., the stent-making unit of Johnson & Johnson, owes the Natick medical devices company $19.5 million for patent infringement.

The jury awarded Boston Scientific $18.5 million in lost profits and $1 million in reasonable royalties for Cordis’ infringement of its Jang patent, which covers intellectual property associated with coronary stent technologies.

Boston Scientific sued Cordis for patent infringement in December 2009, shortly after the U.S. launch of Cordis’ 2.25 mm Cypher Stent. On April 13, 2011, the Delaware Court ruled that Cordis infringed Boston Scientific’s Jang patent as a matter of law, and later found that the infringement was willful, according to a press release from Boston Scientific.

Boston Scientific executive vice president Hank Kucheman said the outcome is important in protecting the company’s market position in small-vessel, drug-eluting stents against infringing products.

A Cordis spokesperson, who emailed a statement to Bloomberg News, said, “Cordis is considering what, if any, next steps it may take in the legal process” .

This is not the first time Boston Scientific and Cordis have argued over heart stents. In February 2010, Boston Scientific announced a settlement of three patent disputes with Johnson & Johnson dating back to 2003 and covering Boston Scientific’s Jang patent and J&J’s Palmaz and Gray patents, all involving cardiovascular intellectual property. Boston Scientific had to make a $1.725 billion payment to J&J in connection with the settlement.

The first dispute involved a claim by J&J that Boston Scientific’s Express, TAXUS Express and Liberte stents infringed its Palmaz and Gray patents. The second involved a claim by Boston Scientific that J&J’s Cypher, BX Velocity and Genesis stents infringed its Jang patent. In 2005, there were liability trials on these two matters, and both parties were found to have infringed the other’s patents. Those findings were upheld on appeal. The third dispute involved a claim by J&J that Boston Scientific’s TAXUS Liberte stent infringed its Gray patent, but the trial in the matter did not take place.

At the time, Ray Elliott, the president and CEO of Boston Scientific, said, “In the past year, we have significantly reduced the volume of outstanding litigation, having now settled 17 lawsuits with J&J, as well as disputes with other competitors and the government.”

In a separate development, Elliott said recently that he would step down as CEO at the end of the year.

In addition to the matters resolved in the settlement, the District Court in January 2010 found all four patents in a lawsuit brought against the Boston Scientific by J&J to be invalid.

Boston Scientific’s (BSX) stock was down 1.78 percent mid-day (12:38pm) to $6.895.
Source: Lori Valigra, Mass High Tech correspondent

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