German court says Medtronic infringed an Edwards Lifesciences patent

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 12, 2013 - 7:45 PM

Medtronic says the ruling in a dispute over artificial heart valves won’t affect its fiscal 2014 results.

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Medtronic's Fridley headquarters.

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A German court ruled against Medtronic Inc. on Friday in a high-profile patent case involving an artificial heart valve, but the Fridley-based medical device company said the ruling will have no material effect on its fiscal 2014 financial results.

The court in Mannheim, Germany, ruled that Medtronic’s CoreValve product infringes on a patent owned by Edwards Lifesciences, which is based in Irvine, Calif. The German court ruling affects only sales in Germany, but it follows Medtronic’s loss in a similar patent suit in a U.S. federal appeals court last November that resulted in a $74 million penalty against Medtronic, based on lost profits and royalties.

Shares in Medtronic closed down 0.5 percent Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

The CoreValve product is an artificial heart valve that can be implanted without open heart surgery. Medtronic said the German court’s decision “will limit options for physicians and their patients,” which Medtronic said was “contrary to sound health policy.”

Medtronic said that the portion of its German revenue affected by the court ruling accounted for less than half a percent of its total revenue, which was $16.4 billion last year.

In addition to its plan to appeal the German court decision, Medtronic has, in a separate action, challenged the validity of the Edwards patent at the European Patent Office.

 

Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553

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