Boston Sci to Fight $308M Patent Judgment

Nancy Crotti

September 26, 2014

2 Min Read
Boston Sci to Fight $308M Patent Judgment

A Maryland court has ordered Boston Scientific to pay $308 million in damages to the family of a physician who helped invent the implantable cardioverter defibrillator.

The jury in the latest round of the long-running battle between Boston Scientific and Mirowski Family Ventures LLC of Bethesda, MD, found that Marlborough, MA-based Boston Scientific had breached a contract with the family of Michel Mirowski, MD, who died in 1990.

Boston Scientific plans to fight the ruling.

"We believe the facts and the law do not support the jury's findings or the amount of the damages," a company spokesperson told Qmed in an email statement. "We plan to seek to overturn the judgment in post-trial motions with the Circuit Court and, if necessary, through the appeals process."

The case has its roots in a 1996 lawsuit filed by Mirowski and Boston Scientific against St. Jude Medical (Little Canada, MN) in the Southern District of Indiana, alleging patent infringement. The jury awarded Mirowski and Boston Scientific damages for infringement of one of two patents, according to court documents. The judge, however, said the patents were invalid and ruled in favor of St. Jude.

Boston Scientific and Mirowski proceeded to volley over patent royalties, with Boston Scientific suing Mirowski in 2011 in the Southern District of Indiana, claiming that it had paid all royalties owed and that its ICD products do not infringe on one of Mirowski's patents, court and SEC documents said. (That case was dismissed in July 2013.)

In May 2013, Mirowski sued Boston Scientific, alleging breach of contract, resulting in the most recent judgment.

It was the latest in a series of labyrinthine patent disputes involving the Mirowski family and medtech giants. In March, Medtronic won a reversal of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that stated it is always up to the patent holder to prove infringement. The Supreme Court opinion established that when a licensee such as Medtronic seeks a court judgment over whether a product is infringing on a patent, it is still up to the patent holder (in this case Mirowski) to prove that the patent has been infringed.

On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed that, saying that because Medtronic was the plaintiff, it was up to them to prove their case.

Nancy Crotti is a contributor to Qmed and MPMN.

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About the Author(s)

Nancy Crotti

Nancy Crotti is a frequent contributor to MD+DI. Reach her at [email protected].

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