Federal Circuit reverses part of Bard's $371M patent win over Gore

June 15, 2012 by MassDevice staff

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reverses a portion of its prior ruling awarding $371 million to C.R. Bard in a patent infringement case against W.L. Gore & Assoc., ordering a lower court to reconsider its willfulness ruling.

C.R. Bard logo
W.L. Gore & Associates logo

A federal appeals court reversed a portion of its prior ruling that W.L. Gore & Assoc. pay C.R. Bard (NYSE:BCR) $371 million for infringing a vascular graft patent, ordering a lower court to reconsider its decision that the infringement was willful.

Judge Mary Murguia's decision boosted Bard's initial $185.6 million award to $371.2 million, prompting Gore to appeal.

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The Federal Circuit upheld Murguia in February (sending BCR shares up 2%), Gore again appealed, and a 3-judge panel yesterday issued its new ruling that the willfulness judgment be re-evaluated.

Writing for the 2-member majority, Judge Arthur Gajarsa said Murguia should have first considered whether Gore had an "objectively reasonable" case that the infringement wasn't willful – including the fact that Bard's patent application languished for 28 years until it was granted in 2002.