Minneapolis medical device giant Medtronic Inc. finally got some good news for a change — $57 million worth.
The company can thank a San Francisco jury in federal district court for the windfall, although it’s only half the amount Medtronic asked for in the suit. The panel decided in its favor in a patent dispute with AGA Medical Corp.
Medtronic accused its fellow Twin City firm of infringing a pair of patents with AGA’s Amplatzer Occluder and vascular plug product lines. The decision also calls for AGA to pay 11 percent royalties to Medtronic on future U.S. sales of the devices through 2018.
AGA downplayed the ruling, saying it marks the end of the first phase of the litigation. The second, non-jury phase “dealing with other issues of invalidity and unenforceability of the Medtronic patents,” according to an AGA press release, is slated for later this year and could affect the final outcome.
And another case in the U.S. Court of Appeals “involves issues that may significantly reduce AGA Medical’s liability and any potential damages awarded in this case.”
For its part, Medtronic said it filed a lawsuit against W.L. Gore & Associates containing similar accusations about the patents which is set to begin August 31 in San Francisco.
The Medtronic patents cover self‐expanding medical devices using a metal alloy such as nitinol that will expand to its original shape after deployment.
The decision is a rare win for the Twin Cities collossus. Recent weeks have brought a string of reverses to the company, including a nearly $180 million judgment against it in a pedicle screw patent dispute with DePuy Spine Inc., the recall of nearly 60,000 insulin infusion sets, its inclusion in a “qui tam” whistleblower lawsuit along with six other firms that stand accused of promoting the off-label use of microwave cardiac ablation products and bilking the Medicare system and a $442 million payment to another of its arch-rivals, Abbott Laboratories and another company.