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Boston Scientific and Other Firms Gain Favorable Ruling in Patent Infringement Case

January 23, 2012

Johnson & Johnson's claims found invalid.

Boston Scientific Corp. received a good bit of legal news recently.

The Natick, Mass.-based firm reported that the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has found all the asserted patents in a suit brought by Johnson & Johnson to be invalid and entered judgment in favor of Boston Scientific.

As part of a 2008 suit, Johnson & Johnson alleged that Boston Scientific's Promus Everolimus-Eluting Coronary Stent System infringed two patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 5,516,781 and 5,563,146, known as "the Morris patents"). The patents relate to the use of a drug on a drug-eluting stent.

"We are pleased with the court's finding that both of these Johnson & Johnson patents are invalid," said Tim Pratt, executive vice president and general counsel for Boston Scientific. "Boston Scientific will continue to vigorously defend against any claims of infringement."

Boston Sci wasn't alone in the ruling, however. The court also decided that Abbott Laboratories and Medtronic Inc. didn't infringe on Johnson & Johnson.

This is the most recent volley decision in the companies' long-running battle over intellectual property.

Pfizer Inc.'s Wyeth manufactures the drug, called sirolimus, and licenses it to Johnson & Johnson's Cordis unit. The drug is used on Johnson & Johnson's Cypher stent (manufactured by J&J's Cordis unit, which is now out of the stent business), the first drug-eluting stent approved in the United States; Boston Scientific's Promus stent; Abbott's Xience; and Medtronic's Endeavor, rug.

Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal the ruling.

In 2010, Boston Scientific agreed to pay J&J $1.73 billion to end other patent lawsuits between the companies related to stent technology.

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