Updated Feb. 10, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. with share values and analysts’ reactions.
A U.S. federal judge this week upheld C.R. Bard’s (NYSE:BCR) win against W.L. Gore & Associates over vascular graft patents.
The court affirmed Bard’s $371 million win from a 2007 decision when an Arizona jury found that Gore willfully infringed on patents for vascular tubing.
"This has been a long and arduous journey for the parties in this litigation, but this should be the final curtain of the saga," Circuit Court Judge Arthur Gajarsa of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit wrote in the decision.
The news gave Bard a bump on The Street where shares were trading 2% higher at $94.36 around 1:30 p.m. today.
"Though not unexpected, this is a positive milestone for BCR," Leerink Swann analyst Rick Wise wrote in a letter to shareholders. "Our understanding is that although Gore still has several possible levels of appeals, from a practical manner, the court’s ruling today will likely be very much what the final ruling will look like."
Wise predicted an earnings upside of around $1.40 to $1.50 per share as a result of the ruling. With total damages and an ongoing royalty stream considered together, Bard stands to rake in about $783 million.
The decision was split 2 to 1 and Judge Gajarsa was rather candidly dismissive of the dissenting opinion:
"Contrary to the dissent, we are not free to ignore the long history of this case and these prior determinations," he wrote. "We cannot revisit the facts anew, nor meander through the record and select facts like our favorite jelly beans, nor characterize the facts as the Bard would in a Shakespearean tragedy."
The lawsuit has its roots in 1974 when Bard originally filed its patent for the grafts, devices used to bypass or reinforce blood vessels. The patent languished for 28 years while the companies debated who was the first to invent the device.
The lower court found had ruled that Gore was not the original inventor on the graft patent. The new ruling found that Gore was not a co-inventor, either.
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