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The Associated Press January 28, 2011, 6:52PM ET

Jury orders Johnson & Johnson to pay $482M in suit

A federal jury in Texas has ordered Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary to pay $482 million to an inventor who claimed the health care giant infringed on his patent for a cardiac stent.

Jurors in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas returned the verdict Friday against Johnson & Johnson and Cordis Corp.

Heart stents are mesh-wire tubes that prop open coronary arteries after surgery to remove fatty plaque.

Jurors found that a stent built and distributed by Cordis willfully infringed on plaintiff Dr. Bruce Saffran's patent.

Saffran previously won a patent infringement judgment against Boston Scientific Corp., which agreed in 2009 to pay $50 million to settle the dispute.

Officials at Johnson & Johnson weren't immediately available to comment.

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