Johnson & Johnson‘s (NYSE:JNJ) Cordis stent-making arm won the final round in a patent infringement battle with stent pioneer Dr. Bruce Saffran when the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday declined to hear Saffran’s appeal.
Saffran had asked the high court to hear an appeal of the decision to overturn his $593 million win in a lawsuit he filed in 2007, alleging that Cordis violated his patent with its Cypher drug-eluting stent.
A jury in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas awarded $482 million in damages to Saffran in early 2011, finding that Cordis infringed. Judge John Ward later tacked on another $111 million in pre-judgment interest, but ruled that the infringement was not willful – sparing Cordis the possibility of paying triple damages. Ward later denied a Cordis motion for a new trial.
In April 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned the infringement ruling, on the grounds that the lower court’s claim construction was wrong.
Saffran filed a writ of certiorari with the high court Sept. 30, 2013, asking the Supremes to hear an appeal of the Federal Circuit’s ruling. Yesterday the court denied certiorari, saying only that Justice Samuel Alito "took no part in the consideration or decision of this petition."
Saffran, a New Jersey radiologist, also sued Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) and Abbott (NYSE:ABT), alleging infringement of the same patent, covering the drug elution technology of a device designed to repair small bone fractures.
About a month after the Federal Circuit reversed Saffran’s win against Cordis in July 2013, the case against Abbott was dismissed, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas. The company had argued in a court filing that, under the appeals court’s construal in the Cordis case, "the accused Abbott products do not infringe the asserted patent."
The lawsuit against Boston was settled for an undisclosed amount in 2009 after the Natick, Mass.-based company appealed an earlier decision awarding roughly $500 million to Saffran.