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Medtronic dodges bullet in German court in patent suit over aortic valve

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An aortic valve by Medtronic does not violate a patent held by Edward Lifesciences, a German district court has ruled.

The so-called Cribier patent invoked doesn’t cover the Medtronic CoreValve device targeted in the case, Bloomberg reports after interviewing a court spokesperson.

The Fridley-based Medtronic generates about $75 million, or 5 cents in earnings per share, from CoreValve’s sales in Germany, according to Bloomberg.

It would have been a “significant windfall” for the Irvine, California-based Edwards if the ruling had gone the other way, with an injunction against Medtronic that could have added 25 to 30 cents a share to Edwards’ annual earnings.

The news is “a minor negative for Edwards, as we believe some investors had started to factor in a potential infringement decision and injunction against Medtronic,” one New York analyst wrote of the case, according to Bloomberg. “In Germany, where patent law is different than in the U.S., a ruling of patent infringement results in an immediate injunction, which would result in removal of Medtronic’s CoreValve from the German market.”

Edwards has two more patent cases pending in Germany, Bloomberg says, but is not likely to prevail in either, according to another analyst.

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Medtronic says it is evaluating its next step after a court rejected the company's appeal of a $74 million patent infringement ruling. The ruling could eventually force Medtronic to stop making one of its heart valves if a competitor - Edwards Lifesciences - seeks an injunction.