US Supreme Court action will cost Medtronic, maybe $200 million


The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a lower court's ruling that Medtronic Inc. infringed on patents held by a rival company. Bloomberg News  reports that the ruling could potentially cost Medtronic more than $200 million.

The suit involves a clash between the Fridley-based medical device giant and Edwards Lifesciences Corp, based in Irvine, Cal. The Business Journal said the case involves transcatheter heart-valve technology developed by CoreValve, which California-based Edwards sued in 2008. Medtronic inherited the case when it bought CoreValve in 2009.

A jury later decided the company's patents infringed on those held by Edwards. The Star Tribune reports Monday's decision turned away the appeal and left the lower-court jury verdict in place.

Medtronic last year paid Edwards $84 million and recorded a $245 million charge to cover estimated damages.

The devices use catheters to thread replacement valves into the body, allowing physicians to replace heart valves without cracking open a patient's chest. One analyst predicted that the U.S. market for such products could reach $2.5 billion.

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