C.R. Bard, W.L. Gore Continue Patent Fight
Posted on February 12, 2013 @ 05:13 pm
W.L. Gore & Associates Inc. could finally be forced to pay a 39-year-old bill. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider an appeal of the company’s $185 million patent loss to C.R. Bard Inc. over vascular graft technology.
The justices left intact a $185 million jury verdict against Gore that with interest, royalties and fees could top $900 million. The top court did not explain its decision; instead, it included the rejection in a routine list of orders released last month in Washington, D.C.
The two manufacturing giants have been locked in a legal dispute since 1974 over Bard’s vascular stent graft technology that Gore insists a company engineer helped invent. Gore uses the fluoropolymer technology to make both fabrics and surgical devices, though it legally is Bard’s invention, according to the Arizona trial ruling. The stakes are high for both companies, with Gore attempting to solidify its presence in the medical devices industry and Bard aiming to protect its dominance in the valuable fluoropolymer market.
The battle though, is far from over. Gore received some unexpected reinforcements last month from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), which granted the firm’s request for a re-examination of Bard’s vascular graft patents. Bard, which (ironically) revealed the USPTO decision in regulatory filings, does not expect the move to impact the lawsuit.
Headquartered in Newark, Del., Gore is perhaps best known for developing waterproof, breathable fabric known as Gore-Tex. The 55-year-old company also has developed electronic signal transmission equipment as well as fabric laminates, medical implants, and membrane, filtration, sealant and fiber technology for various industries.
Bard develops, manufactures and markets vascular, urological, oncology and surgical specialty technology. The company is located in Murray Hill, N.J.
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