McKool Smith Helps Medtronic Win Patent Arbitration
DALLAS – Attorneys from the Dallas law firm McKool Smith recently represented Minneapolis-based Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) in a successful independent arbitration in which Johnson & Johnson/Cordis alleged that the Medtronic Driver™ stent and several other Medtronic stents infringed certain Cordis patents.
Finding in favor of Medtronic on all presented issues, the arbitration panel ruled that the Medtronic stents in question were licensed under a 1997 Settlement and Cross License agreement between the companies, and that a 1998 “covenant not to sue” barred Cordis from making legal claims that Medtronic Vascular products infringed Cordis’s patents. The arbitration panel issued its non-appealable decision in favor of Medtronic on February 20. The award became final on March 22.
“The panel’s decision reflects what we’ve maintained since day one: that Medtronic stents do not infringe Johnson & Johnson’s patents,” said attorney Samuel F. Baxter, a Principal in McKool Smith.
Medtronic’s Driver stent is widely considered the most deliverable bare metal coronary stent in the marketplace and is the platform for Medtronic’s Endeavor™ drug-eluting stent system, which is commercially available in approximately 85 countries outside the United States. Medtronic expects U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for Endeavor in 2007.
In a related matter, on Feb. 23, 2006, Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson/Cordis filed an unopposed motion in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, to lift a stay in a patent infringement lawsuit Medtronic had filed against Johnson & Johnson/Cordis, alleging that the Cypher® drug-eluting coronary stent infringes Medtronic’s Fitzmaurice catheter design patents. This case had been on stay pending the outcome of the arbitration panel award. The stay was lifted March 2, 2006 and a trial will be scheduled.
McKool Smith has more than 80 attorneys in Dallas, Austin and Marshall, Texas, handling commercial and intellectual property litigation for national and international clients. The firm is recognized as one of the premier litigation law firms in the United States, having earned significant courtroom victories for clients such as Electronic Data Systems, BearingPoint, Ericsson, and National Instruments.