Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX), which makes coronary stents to prop open clogged arteries, won more than $19 million in patent-infringement damages from Johnson & Johnson’s Cordis Corp. after a jury trial.
The jury of four men and four women deliberated about two hours after a four-day trial in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, before reaching a verdict on lost profits and royalties for Cordis’s sale of the small-vessel Cypher stent.
“They knew they didn’t have permission” to use the protected inventions, “but they went ahead anyway,” Paul A. Bondor, a lawyer for Boston Scientific, told jurors during the trial.
Boston Scientific, based in Natick, Massachusetts, sued Cordis in 2009 in Minnesota and the case was transferred to Delaware the following year. U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson said that another jury in 2005 ruled Cordis infringed the patent.
“We are pleased to see the jury recognized the value of our intellectual property,” Hank Kucheman, Cardiology Group President for Boston Scientific, said in an e-mailed statement. “This is an important outcome in protecting our market position.”
Gregory Diskant, representing Cordis, told the jury the company “didn’t have a license” to sell the infringing-design stent and that Boston Scientific was overreaching in its damage claim.
$34 Million Sought
Boston Scientific had sought $34 million in damages, or more than half of the Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) unit’s $60 million in sales of the stent, Diskant said.
“Cordis is considering what, if any, next steps it may take in the legal process,” Sandy Pound, a Cordis spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed message.
“Is this the last stent trial?” the judge asked lawyers after the verdict. “I feel I should be breaking out the champagne.”
She’s presided over a series of such trials in recent decades, going back at least as early as 1998 when Medtronic sued Guidant over “multilink” stents, which are about the size of a spring in a ballpoint pen.
Other varieties of stents -- some of which have been seen by juries “dancing” in an animated chorus line over the years -- are solid-metal stampings, balloon-expandable devices of various flexibilities, and stents coated with assorted medications to help discourage re-clogging.
In March, Johnson & Johnson lost a bid to overturn a $482 million jury verdict for infringing a New Jersey doctor’s patent on a stent designed to hold open heart arteries. U.S. District Judge John T. Ward in Marshall, Texas, added $114.4 million in interest to the award to Dr. Bruce Saffran.
Boston Scientific was unchanged at $7.02 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, after rising as much as 2.6 percent following the verdict. Johnson & Johnson, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, rose 81 cents to $66.57 on the same exchange.
The case is Boston Scientific Corp. v. Cordis Corp., 10CV315, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).
To see the patent, click: 5,922,021.
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