Friday, March 24, 2006

Medtronic claims victory over J&J in latest battle in stent wars

Newark Star-Ledger: On March 23, 2006, Medtronic said an arbitration panel found it did not infringe on Johnson & Johnson's patents for a key line of stents.

The ruling on the Minneapolis-based company's Driver stent is significant because the de vice is a stepping stone to Med tronic's drug-coated Endeavor stent, a more advanced product the firm hopes to begin marketing in the United States next year. The arbitration decision clears up some of the legal uncertainty surrounding future sales.

"This arbitration award gives Medtronic further confidence in the intellectual property strength of Driver and Endeavor, and reinforces our belief that the company is well positioned to defend against legal challenges and assert our own patent rights," Scott Ward, president of Medtronic's vascular divi sion, said in a statement.

Medtronic has its own suit against Johnson & Johnson's Cordis division that claims its patents were violated during the development of J&J's popular Cypher stent. That case had been in limbo, but the two sides have recently agreed to set a date for trial.


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