Vascular Solutions Sues Boston Sci Over Catheter Patents

Vascular Solutions’ CEO called a Boston Scientific product “one of the most blatant plagiarisms of a patented medical device that I have ever encountered”; Boston Scientific, meanwhile, said it believes the lawsuit is “without merit.”

Vascular Solutions, Inc., recently announced that it has sued Boston Scientific Corporation for allegedly infringing on three of its patents related to guided catheter products.

Maple Grove-based Vascular Solutions said that the patents pertain to its GuideLiner catheter, which it bills as “the first and until now only rapid-exchange mother-and-child guide extension catheter.” The product was introduced in 2009, and it is used in coronary catheterization medical procedures to provide stable access to the coronary arteries. The GuideLiner catheter is Vascular Solutions’ fastest-growing product and accounts for about 20 percent of the company’s total revenue, according to court documents.

Vascular Solutions claims that Natick, Massachusetts-based Boston Scientific is infringing on the patents by manufacturing and selling its Guidezilla catheter, which received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March.

Boston Scientific, which has a significant presence in Minnesota, said in an e-mailed statement that it is aware of Vascular Solutions’ lawsuit. “We believe the case is without merit,” the company said.

Vascular Solutions is seeking an injunction against Boston Scientific to prohibit the manufacturing and sale of its Guidezilla product, as well as damages for lost profits and legal costs.

Vascular Solutions CEO Howard Root said in a press release that Boston Scientific's Guidezilla product is “one of the most blatant plagiarisms of a patented medical device that I have ever encountered.” The design, dimensions, and wording used in the product’s instructions were “misappropriated by Boston Scientific,” he added.

Vascular Solutions is one of Minnesota’s 70 largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $98.4 million in 2012. Catheter products accounted for about 63 percent of Vascular Solutions’ sales in 2012, according to regulatory filings.

In March, Vascular Solutions recalled two of its valve products that are used in catheterization procedures.

Boston Scientific’s 2012 revenue totaled $7.2 billion.

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