German court rules against Medtronic's heart valve in patent dispute with Edwards Lifesciences

  • Updated: July 12, 2013 - 2:12 PM

WASHINGTON — Heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences said Friday that a German court sided with it in a patent case against rival Medtronic.

The District Court of Mannheim ruled that Medtronic's CoreValve artificial heart valve infringes on technology used in Edwards' Sapien valve. The court issued an injunction prohibiting sales of Medtronic's device, including a recall of the product and payments for financial damages.

"We are very pleased with the court's ruling. Edwards will continue to vigorously enforce our intellectual property," said Larry Wood, Edwards' corporate vice president, in a statement.

Both Sapien and Corevalve are designed to replace the aortic heart valve without the standard open-heart surgery typically required. The implants are snaked through a major artery in the leg and fitted into place with a catheter. Recently approved in the U.S. and overseas, the implants are seen as an important option for patients too old or frail to undergo open-heart surgery.

Edwards, based in Irvine, Calif., brought the case against Medtronic last August.

Medtronic said in a statement it disagrees with the court opinion and plans to file an appeal. The company pointed out that CoreValve sales in Germany made up 0.5 percent of its total revenue in fiscal 2013. The company reiterated full-year revenue growth of 3 to 4 percent for fiscal 2014.

Shares of Edwards Lifesciences Corp. rose $2.10, or 3.2 percent, to $67.89 in midday trading. Shares of Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc. fell 52 cents to $53.22.

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