The law firm that’s representing Boston Scientific Corp. in a coronary stent patent case against pharma giant Wyeth and Johnson & Johnson’s Cordis Corp. unit can stay on the job.
Judge Susan Robinson of the U.S. District Court for Delaware denied Wyeth’s motion to disqualify Howrey LLP as the Natick, Mass.-based device maker’s counsel, despite Howrey’s representation of Wyeth in a separate, unrelated case in Europe.
The pharma giant argued that Howrey’s services in the European matter, and its long history of working for Wyeth, amounted to a disqualifying conflict of interest in the stent patent case.
But Robinson disagreed, citing an “ethical wall” the law firm erected between the Washington, D.C.-based lawyers working for Boston Scientific and the lawyers working in Europe.
Robinson also noted Wyeth’s complicated corporate structure, which made it difficult to determine which of its myriad, similarly-named divisions and subsidiaries the law firm was working for.
“Wyeth should not now benefit for such obfuscatory conduct,” Robinson wrote.
The case deals with Boston Scientific’s Promus drug-eluting stent, a private-label version of Abbott’s Xience V device. BSC wants the court to invalidate a patent owned by Cordis, according to the original complaint filed in late 2007.