Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) subsidiary CoraValve Inc. is asking a federal circuit court to throw out a $73.5 million jury verdict won by Edwards Lifesciences Inc. (NYSE:EW), arguing that its device does not infringe on a patent held by the Irvine, Calif.-based company due to on exact wording in the patent.
In oral arguments before a panel of judges at the United States Court of Appeals, attorney’s for the Fridley, Minn.-based medical device maker subsidiary argued that wording, specifically the term "cylindrical," in patents held by Edwards does not apply to CoreValve.
"The accused CoreValve doesn’t have these features. Its shaped like a chalise with widely varying diameters to keep it securely anchored," CoreValve attorney Jeffrey Sarles argued.
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He said that without an adjective modifying the term "cylindrical," then it should be assumed that the device had to be a perfect geometric cylinder in order to match the Edwards device.
In April 2010, a jury found that CoreValve willfully infringed an Edwards patent, awarding $73.5 million in damages.
But in February of last year Judge Gregory Sleet of the U.S. District Court for Delaware rejected an Edwards motion to enjoin Medtronic from making and selling the aortic valve replacement device. Edwards promised to appeal the unfavorable rulings.
Edwards attorney John Nathan countered the CoreValve argument saying, "nobody has a perfect cylinder for an aorta," and said the argument over the definition of the term had been settled during the jury trial.
Medtronic spokesman Steve Cragle told MassDevice in an email that “Medtronic was pleased to have the opportunity to appear before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and we are awaiting their ruling.”
The appeal of the is the latest salvo in a long running patent feud between the two competitors in the transcatheter heart valve market.
The CoreValve system is designed to enable the replacement of a diseased aortic valve without open heart surgery. Edwards and CoreValve Inc. began the patent spat when the Irvine, Calif.-based rivals filed suit against each other in 2007. Medtronic inherited the beef when it purchased CoreValve.
Sara Huoh, a spokeswoman for Edwards told MassDevice that as a policy the company does not comment on pending litigation.