UPDATE 1-Edwards Lifesciences wins appeal in Medtronic patent fight

Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:21pm EST

By Diane Bartz
    WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Edwards Lifesciences LLC Corp
 won a round in a patent fight with Medtronic Inc's
 CoreValve unit on Tuesday as a federal appeals court
upheld a $74 million lower court judgment involving infringement
of patented heart valve technology.
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said on
Tuesday it was upholding a decision by a federal court in
Delaware that Medtronic's device infringed a patent owned by
Edwards. The court awarded $74 million in lost profits and
royalties.
    The device in question is an artificial heart valve that can
be implanted without resorting to open heart surgery.
    But the district court declined to issue an order banning
sales of Medtronic's infringing product, and the appeals court
sent the case back to the lower court to reconsider the denial
of the injunction.
    Medtronic said in a brief statement that it disagreed with
the appeals court decision and was evaluating its next steps.
Its product is not on the market in this country but is sold
elsewhere.
    Edwards said in a statement that it intended to demand
additional damages in the Delaware court because of the finding
that the infringement was willful. If infringement is found to
be willful, a court may triple the damage award.
    "We believe this is a decisive milestone toward final
resolution of this matter, given that we have a clear jury
verdict that has been affirmed by both the district court and
now the U.S. court of appeals," said Aimee S. Weisner, Edwards'
general counsel in a statement.  
    In early October, Edwards cut its revenue forecast for the
third quarter, as sales of its unique heart valve that was
expected to drive results fell short of estimates.
    Edwards estimated total revenue of about $448 million for
the quarter that ended Sept. 30, down from its previous outlook
of between $465 million to $485 million.
    The case is at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal
Circuit. It is Edwards Lifesciences AG v. Medtronic Corevalve,
LLC, No. 2011-1215,-1257.
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