St. Jude, Volcano battle in court over FFR technology

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Fractional flow reserve is measured by placing a pressure guidewire across the lesion of interest and pharmacologically inducing hyperemia. Image source: St. Jude

St. Jude Medical has filed a lawsuit against Volcano for patent infringement, including its PrimeWire pressure guidewire products, infringe on patents used for St. Jude’s PressureWire technology platform, which was acquired from Radi Medical Systems. In response, Volcano said it will “vigorously defend” itself against the lawsuit.

The suit involves five St. Jude patents and seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages, according to the St. Paul, Minn.-based company. St. Jude acquired the PressureWire interventional technology, which measures fractional flow reserve (FFR), from Radi Medical Systems in December 2008.

St. Jude said it is the owner of the right, title and interest in and to each of the five patents involved and is a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Two other St. Jude affiliates are also plaintiffs.

The San Diego-based Volcano asserted, the "claims against it are entirely without merit, and looks forward to vindicating its rights in court.”

The patent lawsuit initiated follows St. Jude’s recent acquisition of LightLab Imaging, which is already engaged in litigation against Volcano and its wholly owned subsidiary Axsun Technologies, a supplier to LightLab, which develops optical coherence tomography for coronary imaging procedures. Earlier this year, a jury in the Superior Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk County, reached a verdict against Volcano and Axsun Technologies.

Volcano noted that this most recent complaint has “nothing to do with other litigation between the parties, including the action pending in Suffolk Superior Court in Massachusetts, in which no judgment has been entered and trial is still ongoing, and the action brought by Volcano in Delaware Chancery Court.” Both of these other cases concern different technology than that involved in the suit filed over the FFR technologies.