Thursday, October 01, 2009

The stent patent wars winding down?

In reporting on a recent settlement between J&J and Boston Scientific of some (but not all) stent patent litigations between the two, the Wall Street Journal noted that the business interest is going down:

In the last several years, explosive growth of stents has slowed, as some scientific studies have questioned their benefit. Major manufacturers of stents, including Medtronic Inc. and Abbott Laboratories, have filed patent lawsuits against one another, several of which have recently been settled.

J&J's initial patent position arose from rights it acquired from an independent inventor. The WSJ noted:

But J&J controls the original patent on the devices, via rights it acquired from the radiologist Julio Palmaz, who is generally credited with the invention.

It was not the "big" company that made the invention, but the big company acquired the patent rights.

Reuters had noted on Sept. 29:

Boston Scientific Corp will pay Johnson & Johnson $716 million to settle more than a dozen patent dispute lawsuits involving coronary stents and other heart devices, the companies said on Sept. 29.


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