The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled that Cordis, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, did not infringe on a patent owned by a radiologist in the making of the company’s Cypher stents.
The decision reverses a 2011 ruling by a lower court, which had ordered Cordis to pay Bruce Saffran, MD, PhD, a radiologist based in the Philadelphia area, $482 million. With interest, the total award had swelled to $593 million.
At issue was a sheet designed to cover bone fractures that could also deliver drugs to the treatment site. A secondary use listed in the patent was utilizing the sheet to cover porous, open-wire mesh stents used to repair blood vessels, according to court documents.
Saffran obtained the patent in 1997 and sued Cordis in 2007 of infringement in the manufacture of the Cypher drug-eluting stents. But the appeals court said the design of the Cypher stents had key differences from the patented device.
“Specifically, Cordis argues that its accused stents both lack a sheet covering the open mesh holes between their struts and lack a drug affixed to their surfaces via hydrolysable bonds and therefore cannot infringe the asserted claims. We agree,” read the decision.