Vascular Solutions sues Boston Scientific for 'blatant' patent infringement

Vascular Solutions claims Boston Scientific violated its GuideLiner patents.--Courtesy of Vascular Solutions

Vascular Solutions is suing Boston Scientific ($BSX), claiming the company's Guidezilla extension catheter infringes on its patents and asking a Minnesota court to hault the device's sale.

In the lawsuit, Vascular Solutions alleges that Boston Scientific violated three of the patents covering rapid exchange guide extension technology used in Vascular Solutions' GuideLiner, a device launched in 2009.

Boston Scientific won FDA clearance for Guidezilla in March after pilfering Vascular Solutions' technology, the company said, and, in a colorful statement, CEO Howard Root said Vascular Solutions' patents were "flagrantly violated by a knock-off brazenly marketed" by Boston Scientific.

"Boston Scientific's Guidezilla is one of the most blatant plagiarisms of a patented medical device that I have ever encountered," Root said. "Virtually every substantive aspect of our GuideLiner product and patents, from the design to the dimensions to even the exact words used in the product's deployment instructions, has been misappropriated by Boston Scientific and applied to their Guidezilla catheter."

Vascular Solutions is seeking a jury trial, asking for an injunction on Boston Scientific's Guidezilla U.S. sales, compensatory damages and attorney's fees.

Boston Scientific said in a statement Friday that it's aware of the lawsuit and believes the case is without merit.

The Vascular Solutions lawsuit piles on to Boston Scientific's mounting legal trouble over the Promus line of stents. OrbusNeich Medical is suing the company for alleged patent infringement in Europe; After winning an injunction in Germany, it is seeking the same in countries across the continent.

- read the announcement
- check out the lawsuit (PDF)

Editor's note: This story was updated to include a response from Boston Scientific.

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