Edwards, CoreValve both claim victory in U.K. heart valve patent suit

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Edwards Lifesciences and CoreValve, medical device makers based in Irvine, Calif., claimed victories Jan. 9 in a British patent fight over a new type of heart valve.

Edwards in a statement called the British court decision a win because it upheld the validity of its patent for a heart valve that does not require major surgery. Meanwhile, CoreValve issued a separate release saying it prevailed because the court said its design did not infringe on Edwards’ patent.

“We are gratified by the decision in the U.K. court. While an appeal of this ruling is possible, we will continue to vigorously defend our own intellectual property and our legal right to continue to clinically evaluate and market our ReValving system for the treatment of patients worldwide,” CoreValve said.

Yet, Edwards said it still “remains convinced” that CoreValve infringes on its patent and would consider appealing that aspect of the case.

The case was initiated by CoreValve in the United Kingdom in Sept. 2007. In response, Edwards counter-sued, claiming infringement of the patent. The long legal fight is over a new type of heart valve that is seen as becoming a big part of the market in coming years.

The legal fight is over a new type of heart valve that is expected to become a big part of the market in coming years. Edwards is in U.S. clinical trials for its Sapien valve, which is already sold in Europe. CoreValve is undergoing its own trials and could seek U.S. approval next year.

 In a separate case, Edwards said it expects a ruling from a German federal patent court on the validity of its German patent early this year.