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A Good Day for J&J: Boston Scientific To Pay More in Stent Litigation

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  • A Good Day for J&J: Boston Scientific To Pay More in Stent Litigation

    Stent-makers of the past and future — names like like J&J, Boston Scientific, Guidant and Medtronic — are in the business of making little devices that help prop open arteries post surgery. But sometimes it seems they’re in a different business, the business of suing the daylights out of each other and paying each other astronomical sums to settle.

    The latest: Johnson & Johnson says Boston Scientific will pay it $1.73 billion to settle two suits related to patents for stents. The company will reportedly Johnson & Johnson’s Cordis unit $1 billion today and $725 million next January. Click here for the WSJ story.

    Two of the three disputes settled Monday, were accusations by Johnson & Johnson that Boston Scientific heart stents infringed two J&J patents. The third dispute was instigated by Boston Scientific, saying the other company’s stents infringed on its own intellectual property.

    Trials in 2005 found that both parties infringed the other’s patents, rulings that were held up by appeal. Another trial on one of J&J’s claims was set to go ahead this month but will no longer take place.

    The news follows related news from last September. That’s when Boston Scientific agreed to pay $716 million to Johnson & Johnson to settle 14 other lawsuits over conflicting patent claims. Other litigation between the companies remains, including the Cordis lawsuits against Boston Scientific’s Promus stent products.

    Earlier last year, Boston Scientific settled a bunch of litigation with Medtronic. Then, in July, Medtronic agreed to pay Abbott Laboratories $400 million to settle their stent battles.

    Boston Scientific issued a press release that included a statement from Ray Elliott, president and chief executive.

    “We have recently made a concerted effort to mitigate risk throughout the company, including litigation risk,” Elliott said. “In the past year, we have significantly reduced the volume of outstanding litigation, having now settled 17 lawsuits with J&J, as well as disputes with other competitors and the government.”

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