Practice Area

Patent Litigation

Medical Device

For over a decade Patterson Belknap represented a medical device manufacturer in a series of “bet-the-company” patent cases relating to coronary stents. We conducted 14 trials, preliminary injunction hearings and arbitration trials involving infringement, validity and/or enforceability issues. In January 2010, one of these disputes settled with our client receiving $1.725 billion – one of the largest settlements of any patent infringement case. In total, our client collected more than $3.6 billion in this series of cases. The cases leading up to the $1.725 billion settlement include the following:

  • As plaintiffs, we won jury verdicts of $271 million and $324 million (both cited by The National Law Journal as among the major plaintiff's verdicts of the year 2000) and an arbitration award of $425 million (in 2003).
  • In September 2008, both jury verdicts were affirmed and the district court entered a judgment of over $1.2 billion, including post-verdict damages and prejudgment interest.
  • In June 2005, we won jury verdicts of infringement on second and third generation infringing products, which were later affirmed on appeal, and that directly led to the $1.725 billion settlement.
  • As defendant, we won a jury verdict (in 2001), later upheld on appeal, that a patent asserted against our client was invalid as obvious.
  • In January 2009, the Federal Circuit found that a patent asserted against our client was invalid as obvious as a matter of law and reversed a judgment against our client in a case where the plaintiff was seeking over a billion dollars in damages.

Additional experience on behalf of medical device manufacturers includes:

  • Representation of a medical device manufacturer accused of infringing a competitor’s patents on ultrasonic surgical instruments. The Federal Circuit reversed the $176.5 million in damages a district court had awarded the plaintiff for our client’s alleged infringement of three surgical device patents and affirmed the district court’s ruling that 26 of the claims asserted against our client were invalid as anticipated by the prior art, and held as a matter of law that the remaining claims were invalid as obvious. The Supreme Court denied the plaintiff’s petition for a writ of certiorari.
  • The Federal Circuit reversed a $593 million jury verdict from the Eastern District of Texas and found that our client, a Fortune 50 medical device manufacturer, did not infringe a doctor’s patent on heart devices. The Federal Circuit found that the district court erred in construing two claim terms and that under the correct construction our client was entitled to judgment of noninfringement as a matter of law. The U.S. Supreme Court then denied the doctor’s petition for a writ of certiorari in January 2014.
  • Representation of a medical device manufacturer in the Eastern District of Texas in a case alleging infringement of a patent on a method for treating and monitoring a patient at a remote location. After the PTAB instituted an IPR proceeding on our client’s petition, the case settled on terms favorable to our client.
  • Representation of a medical device manufacturer accused of infringing several patents on coronary stents. At our request, the district court bifurcated our client’s laches defense from other issues for an early trial. Following a bench trial in the Southern District of New York, the district court rejected plaintiff’s claims as barred by laches and dismissed the complaint.
  • Representation of clients in a case in the Southern District of Illinois where the court granted summary judgment that our clients’ coronary stents do not infringe the asserted patents. The Federal Circuit affirmed. After granting summary judgment of noninfringement, the district court declared the case exceptional under 35 U.S.C. § 285 and awarded our clients all of their attorney’s fees and expert fees. The Federal Circuit affirmed.
  • Representation of a medical device manufacturer in a case in the District of Massachusetts involving seven patents asserted by a competitor relating to surgical techniques, suture anchors, and artificial joints. The case settled on favorable terms for our client.
  • Representation of an international medical device manufacturer accused in the Eastern District of Texas of infringing three patents relating to the visualization and display of organs during medical procedures, including stent tracking in-situ. Case settled on favorable terms for our client.
  • Representation of a worldwide leader in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias in a case in the Central District of California involving seven patents related to mapping electrical activity/pathways in the heart. Client had accused the defendant of infringing six of its patents, and the defendant had counterclaimed for infringement of one of its patents. Case settled on favorable terms for our client.
  • Representation of a medical device manufacturer in the District of Delaware accused of infringing eight unrelated patents in a variety of technologies ranging from JPEG data compression to digital subtraction angiography. After obtaining favorable pre-trial rulings, settled case for a tiny fraction of our client’s potential exposure.
  • Representation of a major medical device manufacturer in a case in the Southern District of Florida in which the court granted summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff's claims of breach of a patent license agreement, on the grounds that stents sold by our client are not covered by the claims of the licensed patent. The Federal Circuit affirmed.
  • Representation of a medical device manufacturer in a bet-the-company case in the District of Delaware in which the plaintiff refused to settle and was trying to shut our client out of the billion-dollar market for coronary stents. The jury returned a verdict in our client's favor that the patents-in-suit were invalid as obvious and were not infringed. The Federal Circuit affirmed.
  • Representation of a medical device manufacturer before an arbitration panel that found our client’s patent not to be invalid and to be infringed by a competing medical device manufacturer’s stent, resulting in an award of $425 million.
  • Representation of a medical device manufacturer in a bet-the-company case in which a competitor was asserting its patents to shut our client out of the billion-dollar market for endoscopic instruments. Plaintiff delayed announcing its 4Q results in anticipation of a favorable verdict. After a four-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in our client's favor, finding that both of the patents-in-suit were invalid as obvious. Plaintiff’s stock price dropped 33% the day the verdict was announced. The Federal Circuit affirmed the judgment in our client's favor, and did so again following a remand for reconsideration in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Markman. The National Law Journal listed the case as one of the top ten defense verdicts of the year.