UPDATE 1-Boston Scientific settles stent suit with inventor

NEW YORK, March 20 Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:50pm EDT

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NEW YORK, March 20 (Reuters) - Boston Scientific Corp (BSX.N) on Friday said it had agreed to settle all outstanding litigation with a New Jersey doctor who had been awarded damages of almost $432 million after suing the medical device maker for patent infringement.

Boston Scientific said in a regulatory filing that it expects to take a pre-tax charge to earnings of $50 million during the first quarter in connection with the settlement with Dr. Bruce Saffran, an interventional radiologist.

A federal jury in Marshall, Texas found in February 2008 that Boston Scientific's Taxus stents infringe a patent held by Saffran and awarded him damages of $431.8 million. The Texas court also awarded Saffran $69 million in interest, Boston Scientific said in the filing.

Stents are tiny wire-mesh scaffolds inserted into arteries to prop them open after they have been cleared of plaque.

Saffran's attorneys argued Boston Scientific incorporated the doctor's technology into its stents, and the jury agreed.

In August 2008, Boston Scientific appealed the Texas court's award to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., and a hearing before the court was held early this month.

Boston Scientific said the settlement also closes the door on a second lawsuit filed by Saffran, last month, in which he sought damages for continued sale of Taxus stents. (Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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