Gore beats back St. Jude's patent suit

Gore's Helex implant doesn't infringe on St. Jude Medical's patents, a federal judge ruled.--Courtesy of Gore

After a three-year legal spat, Gore has prevailed over St. Jude Medical ($STJ) and can keep its heart plug on the market, the company said.

In 2010, three months before St. Jude bought it for $1.3 billion, AGA Medical filed a lawsuit claiming Gore's Helex Septal Occluder violated patents related to its Amplatzer heart plug, an implant designed to treat atrial defects.

AGA sought damages, royalties and an injunction to bar Gore from selling its device in the U.S. Now, as a federal judge has ruled in its favor, Gore can keep its implant on the market and continue to build on its 13 years of clinical data, the company said.

St. Jude's Amplatzer PFO Occluder

St. Jude has the right to appeal the decision, and a spokeswoman said the company is disappointed with the court's ruling and is examining its options.

Both devices are designed to close the patent foramen ovale, a hole between the heart's upper chambers that can allow blood clots to reach the brain and trigger strokes in atrial fibrillation patients.

St. Jude has said it makes $100 million a year off of the heart the plug on about 9,000 annual procedures.

- read Gore's announcement

Editor's note: This story was updated to include comment from St. Jude Medical.