A Medical Device Daily

In the latest patent-infringement lawsuits concerning stents, Medtronic (Minneapolis) sued Johnson & Johnson ’s (J&J; New Brunswick, New Jersey) Cordis (Miami Lakes, Florida) unit and Cordis sued Abbott Laboratories (Abbott Park, Illinois).

Medtronic, which plans to begin selling its Endeavor stent this year in the U.S., sued J&J in Texas. J&J’s suit, filed in a New Jersey federal court, targets Abbott’s Xience V drug-coated stent, expected to enter the U.S. market next year.

The suits, both filed Monday, are the latest skirmishes in a legal battle among four companies concerning the devices. Abbott and Medtronic are poised to challenge J&J and Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts), which dominate the $5.4 billion global stent market.

For Medtronic, its new lawsuit against Cordis is the second in three months. The first was filed in March. Both suits are in federal court in Marshall, Texas, and relate to patents owned by Medtronic partner EvYsio Medical Devices ULC (Vancouver, British Columbia), a closely held company.

Medtronic and EvYsio signed an agreement in February 2006 and sued Abbott over the patents in federal court in California. Suits over the EvYsio patents between the companies also are pending in Ireland and the U.K. In France, a court blocked Abbott from selling or making its Xience stents there after finding in favor of EvYsio. The Xience stent is available elsewhere in Europe.

Abbott sued J&J last year, seeking a court ruling that its Xience stents don’t infringe the Cordis patents. J&J responded with three lawsuits, including its most recent, accusing Abbott of using its patented technology without permission. The patent that’s the subject of the latest suit was issued Tuesday.

In other patent-related news, Biomoda (Albuquerque, New Mexico), maker of early lung cancer detection testing and other cancer diagnostic technology, reported that it is again expanding its intellectual property portfolio with an additional unique patent pending to enhance the stability and greatly increase the shelf-life of its assay. According to the company, “this potentially extraordinary step” is looked to both save large sums in testing and expedite bringing to market of Biomoda’s porphyrin molecule to detect different cell variations of lung cancer.

“Our development work continues to create new methodologies which are not obvious or known. We intend to vigorously protect and capitalize through patent protection,” said John Cousins, president of Biomoda. “This additional patent, filed yesterday in Washington D.C., only weeks after the company’s most recent patent filing, underscores the critical importance of protecting and preparing to capitalize on our valuable proprietary technology. We are completing the steps in the company’s plan to link a chain or series of patents which will very soon allow the company to discuss and disclose its research and aggressively negotiate joint ventures with absolute patent protection in place.”

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