UPDATE 1-US court denies ban on Medtronic heart valve

Tue Feb 8, 2011 5:54pm EST

* Denies permanent injunction sought by rival Edwards

* Upholds infringement ruling, but no additional damages

* Medtronic: does not impact pivotal CoreValve trial

NEW YORK, Feb 8 (Reuters) - A U.S. court refused a request for a permanent injunction that would have prohibited Medtronic Inc (MDT.N) from manufacturing its experimental CoreValve transcatheter heart valve in the United States, the company said.

Rival Edwards Lifesciences Corp (EW.N) had sought the ban after a federal jury in April found that Medtronic's CoreValve infringed an Edwards patent.

Edwards, which was awarded $74 million in that case, was also seeking further damages. That too was denied in Tuesday's ruling by the U.S. District Court of Delaware.

The court did uphold the jury's verdict against Medtronic and the original damages award. Medtronic said it planned to appeal that decision.

Meanwhile, Medtronic said it does not anticipate any interruption to supply of its CoreValve System, and that the court ruling has no impact on its pivotal U.S. clinical trial of the system, which began in December.

Transcatheter heart valves are inserted through a vein and seen as a good option for patients deemed too sick for more invasive open heart procedures to place a replacement valve.

Replacement heart valves are one of the fastest-growing areas of medical technology.

Medtronic has said it hopes to complete enrollment in its pivotal CoreValve study in 2012 and launch the product in the United States in 2014. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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