A Medical Device Daily

Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (Vancouver) has reported another legal win in its ongoing battle with Conor Medsystems (Menlo Park, California) over Angiotech’s patent covering paclitaxel-eluting stents.

Angiotech said it received a favorable decision from the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand regarding an attempt by Conor, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, New Jersey), to revoke its New Zealand Patent 523799, pertaining to compositions comprising a polymer and paclitaxel, as well as, generally, to paclitaxel-eluting stents.

Angiotech said the application for revocation was dismissed this week.

“Consistent with virtually all international rulings to date, this decision further corroborates the strength of our intellectual property and our ability to defend our global patent portfolio,” said William Hunter, president/CEO of Angiotech.

In March the company reported a favorable decision regarding its Hunter patent from the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich, Germany (Medical Device Daily, March 16, 2007).

Angiotech said that the EPO’s Technical Board of Appeal rejected the attempt by Conor Medsystems and Sahajanand Medical Technologies (Surat, India) to intervene and appeal an earlier decision by the Opposition Division of the EPO, which upheld the Hunter patent. Angiotech said that the decision found that these appeals were “inadmissible.”

The Hunter patent also covers claims to stents coated with a composition of paclitaxel and a polymeric carrier.

But not all international rulings regarding Angiotech’s patent have been favorable to the company.

In January a UK appeals court upheld an earlier decision by the UK High Court of Justice to revoke the UK portion of European Patent (EP) 0 706 376 B1 to Angiotech. The patent is exclusively licensed to Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) (MDD, Jan. 17, 2007).

In February 2005, Conor Medsystems initiated proceedings against Angiotech and the University of British Columbia (Vancouver) in the High Court of Justice in the UK, requesting that the court invalidate the patent on the grounds that all claims of the patent either lack novelty or are obvious in light of the state of scientific knowledge at the priority date of the patent.

A year later the High Court of Justice rendered its decision, agreeing with those arguments, and on May 31, 2006, Angiotech appealed the decision.

Angiotech Pharmaceuticals develops treatment solutions for diseases or complications associated with medical device implants, surgical interventions and acute injury.

In other patent news, Spectranetics (Colorado Springs, Colorado) said it plans to appeal the verdict in a patent litigation dispute with Peter Rentrop in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York.

The preliminary jury award of $500,000 to Rentrop has been accepted by the judge following a review of post-trial motions. The judge denied the preliminary jury award of $150,000 in legal fees to Rentrop, who is seeking legal fees as well as pre-judgment and post-judgment interest. The court has not ruled on these motions.

“We have now filed our notice of appeal and intend to pursue all appeal options vigorously,” said John Schulte, Spectranetics’ president/CEO. “All costs associated with the preliminary jury verdict were accrued in our financial statements for the three and twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2006 and we have been and will continue accruing a 5% royalty on all sales of Point 9 millimeter catheters, pending the outcome of our appeal.”

Spectranetics says it makes the only excimer laser approved in the U.S., Europe and Japan for use in minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures. This technology treats complex cardiovascular conditions by photo-ablating multiple lesion types into tiny particles that are easily absorbed into the blood stream. The company’s disposable catheters use high-energy “cool” ultraviolet light to vaporize arterial blockages in the legs and heart, as well as scar tissue encapsulating pacing and defibrillation leads.

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