St. Jude-Owned Co. Loses Patent Lawsuit
It was announced Monday that a Minnesota federal judge ruled against AGA Medical Holdings, Inc.—which is now owned by Little Canada-based St. Jude Medical—in the company’s patent infringement lawsuit against competitor W.L Gore & Associates.
In August 2010, AGA Medical sued Newark, Delaware-based W.L. Gore, alleging that the company was infringing on a patent that covered products used in the treatment of structural heart defects.
AGA Medical, which was based in Plymouth until it was purchased by fellow medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical in 2010 in a $1.3 billion deal, claimed that W.L. Gore “makes, uses, sells, offers for sale, and induces others to use” products that infringe on its patent, according to the original suit.
But court records show that U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen on July 24 dismissed AGA Medical’s lawsuit and ruled in favor of W.L. Gore, stating that W.L. Gore’s medical device did not infringe on a patent held by AGA Medical.
Ericksen also dismissed a countersuit filed by W.L. Gore against AGA Medical.
According to a St. Jude Medical spokeswoman, neither company owes the other any money as a result of the decision.
AGA Medical’s patent at the center of the dispute covers a collapsible medical device used primarily for occluding openings in patients’ organs, according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office documents.
AGA Medical claimed to have been “irreparably harmed” by alleged patent infringement and sought unspecified damages. It also requested a permanent injunction prohibiting W.L. Gore from manufacturing and selling its “Gore Helex Septal Occluder” in the United States and internationally.
“The Gore Helex Septal Occluder has more than 13 years of successful clinical experience for treatment of atrial septal defects. We obtained four U.S. Patents related to this innovation,” Stuart Broyles, an associate with W. L. Gore’s medical products division, said in a statement. “We are happy with Judge Ericksen’s decision and [will] continue to protect our innovations and invest in innovative medical device products to improve patient outcomes.”
The St. Jude spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement that the company “is disappointed with the court’s ruling and we are examining our options.”