UPDATED Sept. 25, 2014, with comment from Boston Scientific.
Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) lost a $309 million judgment today in its long-running patent war with the family of the late physician who helped invent the implantable cardioverter defibrillator, Dr. Michel Mirowski.
A jury in Maryland’s Montgomery County Circuit Court awarded the damages to Mirowski Family Ventures (Mirowski died in 1990), which originally sued Boston Scientific and its Guidant subsidiary over a secret deal with rival St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) that allegedly cut Mirowski out of some $570 million in royalties and damages.
The alleged pact with St. Jude to settle 6 cases was designed to hush up false testimony in an earlier patent infringement case by an expert witness for BSX/Guidant, the lawsuit claimed. In the earlier case, Boston Scientific and Mirowski sued St. Jude for patent infringement, winning a $313 million judgment that was later thrown out of court after false testimony came to light in another patent infringement lawsuit with Medtronic (NYSE:MDT). That decision cost Guidant some $377 million and invalidated 1 of the patents at issue, which in turn allegedly prompted Guidant to deny royalties owed to Mirowski on the grounds that royalties can’t be owed on an invalid patent, according to court records.
The Mirowski family filed suit in February 2013 in the Maryland state court, where the case was litigated until Boston Scientific won its bid to remove the case to federal court in September of that year, according to court documents. In June Judge William Quarles Jr. of the U.S. District Court for Maryland found that Boston Scientific’s removal of the case to the federal court was untimely, according to court documents, remanding the case back to the Maryland state court.
Today a jury in that court awarded Mirowski more than $86.5 million in damages "for royalties owed for 2002 and 2003;" another $142.6 million in damages for "the financial harm in the Indiana lawsuit;" and $80.2 million and pre-judgment interest "in connection with the defendants’ settlement with St. Jude," according to court documents.
Boston Scientific said it believes that "the facts and the law do not support the jury’s findings or the amount of the damages" and plans to "seek to overturn the judgment in post-trial motions with the Circuit Court and, if necessary, through the appeals process."