A Medical Device Daily

A U.S. federal court has ruled that a drug-coated stent sold by Johnson and Johnson (J&J; New Brunswick, New Jersey) does not infringe a patent held by Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts)

In a ruling last week, U.S. District Court Judge Sue Robinson granted a motion by Cordis (Miami Lakes, Florida), a business of J&J, for summary judgment, saying that given the evidence "no reasonable juror could find for Boston Scientific on the issue of infringement."

The patent relates to a method for treating or preventing heart disease through a particular kind of medicinal therapy — in this case the drugs used on the stents.

J&J's Cypher and Boston Scientific's Taxus are currently the only DES devices approved in the U.S.

Boston Scientific had previously prevailed in lower courts in patent disputes that involved the stent itself and the polymer used to bind the medicine to the stent.

"We are considering our options," Boston Scientific spokesman Paul Donovan said of the ruling in a statement.

"We remain focused on the two cases we won in the lower courts and we expect those rulings to stand," Donovan said. He added that this ruling has no bearing on either of the other two cases.

J&J said it was pleased with Judge Robinson's decision.

"It affirms our view that we are not utilizing a competitor's intellectual property, but our own," said Cordis spokesman Christopher Allman.

In other legalities: Kinetic Concepts (KCI; San Antonio) reported that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas denied all post-trial motions of the parties in KCI's patent litigation against Medela (Baar, Switzerland) and BlueSky Medical Group (Carlsbad, California). The court also entered a final judgment in the case, upholding the jury's decision affirming the validity and enforceability of the patents involved in the litigation. The court's rulings effectively end a trial-court phase.

In August 2006 BlueSky reported that Federal Judge Royal Furgeson of the U.S. Western District of Texas had signed a judgment in its favor in its infringement dispute with KCI (Medical Device Daily, Aug. 31, 2006).

It said that the judgment upheld a jury verdict early that month that the use, manufacture and sale of BlueSky's Versatile 1 System, a negative-pressure wound therapy device, did not directly infringe on KCI's patents for a similar device. Additionally, BlueSky said it has been cleared of any willful, contributing or inducement of infringement on KCI's patent claims.

KCI makes a negative pressure wound therapy device called the V.A.C, for vacuum-assisted closure. The verdict, which it said was a unanimous decision by a nine-person jury, followed a six-week trial and eight days of jury deliberation.

"We remain confident in the strength of the pioneering Wake Forest V.A.C. patents based on the jury's final verdict finding the patents valid and enforceable," said Catherine Burzik, president/CEO of KCI. "KCI is well positioned to compete in advanced wound care worldwide, as KCI's V.A.C. system provides superior, cost-effective outcomes, and remains the only negative pressure wound therapy system clinically proven to help promote healing of serious, complex wounds."