A federal appeals court decision in Boston Scientific‘s long-running patent infringement battle with St. Jude Medical has wide-ranging implications for overseas sales of infringed patented products, according to news reports.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied the Natick, Mass.-based device maker’s assertion that patent owners should be able to collect damages for sales of products found to be patent infringements, no matter where the sales occur.
But the court said U.S. patents apply only to U.S. sales. That means St. Jude Medical won’t owe any damages on overseas sales of the pacemaker at the center of the 1996 case.
In 2001, a jury ruled that St. Jude’s device infringed on a patent held by Cardiac Pacemakers and awarded $140 million in damages to the then-Guidant unit. Boston Scientific acquired Guidant — and the lawsuit — in 2006.
Another court overturned the jury’s ruling, but the federal appeals court over-ruled that decision and sent the case back down to the U.S. District Court for Southern Indiana so a judge can award damages to BSC.
The patent concerns the method used by a pacemaker to detect heart arrhythmias, select the proper shock to deliver to the heart. The federal appeals court decided that shipping a product overseas that uses that method isn’t infringement.