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Medtronic says CoreValve patent verdict upheld

Thu, 02/11/2010 - 2:36am
The Associated Press

Heart device maker Medtronic Inc. said Thursday a German court ruled that one of its CoreValve devices does not infringe on patents held by Edwards Lifesciences Inc.

Medtronic said it can continue selling the CoreValve transcatheter aortic valve system due to the decision, which upheld a ruling by a lower court. The company says the CoreValve products do not use the technology Edwards has patented.

The CoreValve system is designed to allow surgeons to replace a diseased aortic valve by putting a new valve into a catheter and guiding the catheter to the heart from an artery in the leg. That allows the valve to be replaced without open heart surgery and without removal of the diseased valve.

Medtronic is based in Minneapolis, and Edwards is based in Irvine, Calif. The companies are involved in similar litigation in the United Kingdom and the U.S., and Medtronic said a trial is set to begin in Delaware in March. U.K. court proceedings will resume in May, it said.

The CoreValve system is not on the market in the U.S.

An Edwards spokesperson wasn't immediately available.

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