Medtronic Wins Patent Dispute Over Heart Valve Device

The multi-year suit ended in Medtronic’s favor, despite the company’s track record of not always prevailing in lengthy patent battles.

A federal appeals court has sided with Medtronic over a patent dispute regarding its CoreValve system, a replacement device for the aorta heart valve.

Dr. Troy Norred claimed CoreValve—a company originally based in Irvine, California but acquired by Medtronic in 2009 for $700 million—developed its product of the same name using his patents.

The webbed device in question is used to treat severe aortic stenosis, a condition that affects more than 200,000 Americans each year. In cases where the heart’s largest vessel, the aorta, becomes narrowed or dysfunctional, a CoreValve device is inserted to improve blood flow.

Reports indicate Norred filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Kansas. The physician’s suit was stayed until inter partes reviews were completed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s Patent Trial & Appeals Board. Filings show the board rejected all 16 of Norred’s claims and gave the patent to Medtronic.

Norred then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, but was denied without comment on Tuesday.

Medtronic has a history of getting tangled in significant patent wars. Two years ago, the Dublin-based med-tech company ended a long-running suit with Edwards Lifesciences over transcatheter aortic valve implants and other technologies. The final deal saw Medtronic paying out $750 million and additional royalties of at least $40 million annually through 2022.