WASHINGTON, April 4 Cordis Corp, a Johnson and
Johnson subsidiary, did not infringe on a patent owned
by a radiologist in making its Cypher stents, an appeals court
said on Thursday, reversing a ruling by a lower court that
ordered Cordis to pay $482 million.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a
ruling from a Texas jury, which found Cordis guilty of
infringement and ordered the payment.
The appeals court ruled that Cordis had not infringed.
Johnson & Johnson's shares closed slightly higher at $82.41.
The radiologist, Bruce Saffran, filed a lawsuit in 2007,
accusing Cordis of infringing a patent he obtained in 1997 to
make its Cypher brand drug-eluting stents. A jury ruled for
Saffran in 2011. Cordis asked the judge to toss the ruling out,
but he declined and added $111 million in interest, bringing the
total award to $593 million.
Cordis appealed to the Federal Circuit, which hears patent
appeals. The appeals court reversed the lower court on Thursday.
"We are pleased the federal court of appeals reversed the
jury's decision and held that Cordis did not infringe (the)
plaintiff's patent," said Cordis spokeswoman Sandy Pound
in an email.
Paul Taskier, lead counsel for Saffran, said they were
disappointed in the ruling.
"We are considering an appropriate course of further
action," he said in an emailed statement.
Stents are tiny mesh tubes used to prop open arteries that
have been cleared of blockages. Drug-eluting stents are coated
with medicine designed to prevent reclogging of the treated
J&J was the first company to sell a drug-coated stent with
its Cypher. The field became fiercely competitive as rival
devices entered the market, such as Abbott Laboratories'
Xience model, widely considered to be superior to Cypher.
In 2011, J&J decided to get out of the heart stent business
and the diversified healthcare company announced it would stop
The case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of Texas was No. 07-CV-0451. The case at the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Federal Circuit is Bruce Saffran v. Johnson &
Johnson and Cordis Corp., No. 2012-1043.