Healthcare Industry News: CYPHER
News Release - March 23, 2006
Medtronic Wins Stent Patent ArbitrationMINNEAPOLIS--(HSMN NewsFeed)--March 23, 2006--An independent arbitration panel has found in favor of Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT ) in a case in which Johnson & Johnson/Cordis alleged that the Medtronic Driver(TM) stent and several other Medtronic stents infringed certain Cordis patents. The arbitration panel issued its non-appealable decision on February 20 and the award became final on March 22.
Finding in favor of Medtronic on all issues before it, the arbitration panel ruled that the Medtronic stents in question were licensed under a 1997 Settlement and Cross License agreement between the companies, and that a 1998 Cordis "covenant not to sue" barred Cordis from filing a lawsuit that the Medtronic Vascular products infringed Cordis's patents.
As a result of this positive decision for Medtronic, the Driver stent and the other Medtronic stents in question have been found to be licensed to the Palmaz-Schatz patents owned by Johnson & Johnson/Cordis. Medtronic has moved to dismiss the related litigation involving the same subject matter that had been stayed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware pending the outcome of the arbitration. In addition, future disputes between the two companies on these stents and patents are governed by the 1997 Settlement and Cross License Agreement.
Scott Ward, president of Medtronic Vascular, said: "This arbitration award gives Medtronic further confidence in the intellectual property strength of Driver and Endeavor, and reinforces our belief that the company is well positioned to defend against legal challenges and assert our own patent rights."
The Driver stent is widely considered the most deliverable bare metal coronary stent in the marketplace and is the platform for Medtronic's Endeavor(TM) drug-eluting stent system that has been commercially available in approximately 85 countries outside the United States. Medtronic expects U.S .Food and Drug Administration approval for Endeavor in 2007.
In a related matter, on February 23, 2006, Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson/Cordis filed an unopposed motion in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, to lift a stay in a patent infringement lawsuit Medtronic had filed against Johnson & Johnson/Cordis, alleging that the CYPHER® drug-eluting coronary stent infringes Medtronic's Fitzmaurice catheter design patents. This case had been on stay pending the outcome of the arbitration panel award. The stay was lifted March 2, 2006 and a trial will be scheduled.
Medtronic, Inc. (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology - alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people around the world.
Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended January 27, 2006. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.
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