Medtronic scores victory in ongoing patent war with Mirowski

Medtronic ($MDT) scored a victory in its ongoing patent war with Mirowski Family Ventures, as the U.S. Supreme Court passed on hearing an appeal from Mirowski over patents for implantable defibrillator devices.

The nation's high court declined to hear the case, building on an earlier decision that also came out in Medtronic's favor, MassDevice reported. In January, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed a lower court's decision that would have forced the Minneapolis-based company to prove that it did not infringe Mirowski's two patents for hemodynamic dysfunction technology. Medtronic claimed that while it licensed patents from Mirowski, its newer cardiac resynchronization products did not infringe Mirowski's patents and it should not be forced to pay royalties.

Medtronic is not the only company facing patent pushback from Mirowski. Fellow med tech heavyweight Boston Scientific ($BSX) is also embroiled in legal battles with the group, which controls patents related to implantable cardioverter defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization therapy devices. In September, a jury in Maryland's Montgomery County circuit court ordered the Marlborough, MA-based company to fork over $309 million in royalties and other expenses to Mirowski for infringing on its pacemaker patents. The award included more than $142.6 million in damages and $80.2 million related to Boston Scientific's previous settlement with St. Jude Medical ($STJ) over related devices.

On other fronts, Philips ($PHG) is struggling with its own patent woes. In October, the company was slapped with a $466 million verdict in its patent infringement battle with Masimo when a jury in Wilmington, DE, found after a two-week trial that Philips infringed on Masimo's two patents for technology used in its fingertip pulse oximeter devices. The Dutch company argued that the patents weren't properly written and that the technology is obvious, rendering them invalid. But a panel of 8 jurors disagreed and ordered the devicemaker to pay damages. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Philips plans to appeal the verdict.

- read the MassDevice story

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