Medtronic has received news that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear its appeal over a long-running dispute between rival Boston Scientific over patent infringements.
In September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned a Delaware court’s decision that Medtronic had not infringed on Boston Scientific’s patents. The appeals court found that the lower court used “a legally incorrect allocation of the burden of proof” and remanded the case for reconsideration.
Medtronic appealed the decision and the nine Supreme Court justices agreed to hear the appeal during the high court’s next session beginning in October.
The case concerns “fundamental CRT technology” covered in a pair of patents issued to CRM pioneer Dr. Morton Mower, credited with inventing the technology that ultimately became known as a cardiac resynchronization therapy device. Two patents for the device are the property of Mirowski Family Ventures which licenses both exclusively to Guidant Corp. Boston Scientific acquired Guidant in 2006 for $26 billion.
The dispute, however, stems from a 1991 sublicense agreement for the patents with Eli Lilly, which owned Guidant at that time. The agreement gave Medtronic leverage to challenge 1 of the patents, which the medical device company began doing in 2003.
“Medtronic is unquestionably the party now requesting relief from the court: it already has a license; it cannot be sued for infringement; it is paying money into escrow; and it wants to stop” Federal Circuit Judge Richard Linn wrote in the decision to hear the appeal … Medtronic must present evidence showing that it is entitled to such relief.”