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Medtronic ordered to pay $106.5 million to Colibri for patent infringement, plans to appeal

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | February 17, 2023
Business Affairs
Medtronic has been ordered to pay $106.5 million to Colibri Heart Valve for patent infringement.
Medtronic is out $106.5 million following a California jury’s verdict that it violated a patent of competitor Colibri Heart Valve for replacing heart valves in cardiac disease patients.

In a 2019 lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Colibri said that how physicians use four of Medtronic’s transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) products infringed on the patent, which pertains to a method for controlling the deployment of self-expanding artificial heart valves and relates to Colibri’s own transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) system.

Colibri’s TAVI system is a “self-expanding heart valve device that includes cross-linked biological tissue and a delivery system that can be guided through a patient’s artery to the heart, where it is positioned and used to replace diseased valves,” said the company in its suit.

An early human feasibility study showed the valves deliver approximately twice as much oxygenated blood to patients than all existing artificial heart valve implants.

Medtronic’s four TAVR solutions named in the suite are CoreValve, CoreValve Evolut R, CoreValve Evolut PRO, and CoreValve Evolut PRO+.

How did it infringe
Colibri said it held a presentation on its inventions for Medtronic’s marketing director and senior clinical program manager in 2014 under a nondisclosure agreement. Medtronic began commercializing its CoreValve system that year.

In its suit, Colibri notes similarities between its solution and Medtronic’s four devices, including that they are each composed of a transcatheter aortic valve (or bioprosthesis) and a delivery catheter system.

They also have valve leaflets, which like Colibri’s patented technology, “are sutured onto a collapsible and expandable, multilevel, radiopaque stent with flared ends in a trumpet-like configuration,” and delivery catheter systems that deploy the valve.

Jury’s verdict
The jury in Santa Ana ruled on February 8 that Medtronic “actively induced infringement” of three patent claims and that it failed to disprove the claims’ validity. It ordered the company to pay Colibri $106.5 million.

A Colibri attorney said the company is “honored” by the jury’s “recognition of Colibri’s valuable contribution to the treatment of heart disease, according to Reuters.

A Medtronic spokesperson told HCB News in a statement that the company strongly disagrees and will appeal the verdict. It also says the patent expired in January 2022 and will not impact ongoing operations.

Colibri did not respond to HCB News’ request for comment.

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