Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) won a round in its patent fight against Edwards Lifesciences Inc. (NYSE:EW), as the medical device giants prepare for a showdown in the U.S. District Court for Delaware in late March over a patent involving an aortic valve replacement.
The Appellate Court of Düsseldorf, Germany, upheld a German lower court’s ruling that Medtronic’s CoreValve transcatheter aortic valve does not infringe on Edwards Lifesciences’s German patent.
The CoreValve system is designed to enable the replacement of a diseased aortic valve without open heart surgery. Edwards claimed the technology infringed on a patent it held in Germany and has filed similar suits in the U.K. and the U.S.
But with the German court’s decision, Medtronic said it can now sell the devices in Germany without a licensing agreement from Edwards. The two are scheduled for another court date in the U.K in May, in addition to the U.S. trial in March. The CoreValve product is not for sale or in clinical trials here, according to Medtronic.
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 in April 2009 for about $700 million.
Edwards officials expressed disappointment in the decision but said they were looking forward to their day in U.S. District Court.