Medtronic Inc. (Medtronic) has won a $57 million damage award against AGA Medical Corporation (AGA). The federal US district court jury in San Francisco has found that AGA’s manufacture, sale and use of its Amplatzer Occluder and vascular plug product lines infringed claims of two US patents owned by Medtronic. The jury also ordered AGA to pay Medtronic a royalty of 11% on future US sales of the infringing products through 2018.
The patents involved in this case are US Patent Nos. 6,306,141 and 5,067,957, known as the Jervis patents. The ‘141 patent covers self-expanding medical devices using stress to restrain a metal alloy that will expand to its original shape upon being released from a restraint, such as a sheath. For example, this invention allows doctors to locate and expand a medical device to repair holes in the heart, treat aortic aneurysms, place stents within the peripheral vasculature or treat damaged or diseased heart valves via a less invasive, transcatheter heart valve procedure. The ‘957 patent, which expired in 2004, covers a method of treatment using shape memory alloys, such as nitinol, in accordance with the Jervis inventions.