The U.S. Supreme Court left intact a patent ruling that may cost a Medtronic Inc. (MDT:US) unit more than $200 million in its clash with Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (EW:US) over devices that repair aortic valves without open-heart surgery.
The justices today turned away an appeal from Medtronic’s CoreValve unit, which a jury concluded infringed an Edwards heart-valve patent. A lower court upheld the jury’s $74 million verdict in November.
Medtronic last year paid Edwards $84 million and recorded a $245 million charge to cover estimated damages. The Minneapolis-based company also faces the prospect of a court order barring U.S. manufacture or sale of its infringing devices.
Edwards sued CoreValve, then a stand-alone company, in 2008. The patent was issued in 1995, and Edwards said it’s seeking an extension of the life of the patent to 2017.
The devices use catheters to thread replacement valves into the body. The U.S. market could reach $2.5 billion, Jason Mills, an analyst with Canaccord Adams Inc. in San Francisco, said last year.
At the Supreme Court, Medtronic argued that the disputed patent didn’t contain enough information to enable reproduction of the invention, as required under federal law.
Edwards is based in Irvine, California.
The case is CoreValve v. Edwards Lifesciences, 12-1325. To see the patent, click: 5,411,552.
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