The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday declined to review W.L. Gore‘s infringement loss to C.R. Bard (NYSE:BCR) over stent graft patents, leaving Gore on the hook for more than $1 billion in damages owed to Bard.
After the Federal Circuit Appeals Court in January upheld a judgment of willful infringement, tacking on an extra $205 million to the $854 million already owed, Gore petitioned the Supremes for a writ of certiorari. The high court declined the petition without comment yesterday.
In May Bard said it received a willfulness damages payment of $209 million from Gore, which had asked the Federal Circuit for a rehearing and an en banc rehearing; the appeals court rebuffed Gore without comment in April.
The case dates all the way back to the early 1970s, when a Gore engineer named Peter Cooper invented a key claim in the patent, Gore alleged.
Judge Mary Murguia of the U.S. District Court for Arizona initially ruled that the patent was invented by Dr. David Goldfarb, who later assigned it to Bard. Her 1st decision boosted Bard’s $185.6 million jury award to $371.2 million, prompting Gore to appeal. The Federal Circuit upheld Murguia in February 2012 (sending BCR shares up 2%) and affirmed that judgment in June 2012. Gore’s subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court in October 2012 was denied early in 2013. That July, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office upheld the validity of the Bard patent.
But in 2012 the Federal Circuit bench tasked Murguia with reviewing her willfulness finding. In October 2013 Murguia upheld that ruling, finding Gore’s infringement willful and declining to revisit her decision on enhanced damages and legal fees and denying Gore’s bid for a new trial. Gore appealed again to the Federal Circuit, which once again affirmed Murguia.