MINNEAPOLIS - Jan. 22, 2014 - Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) announced that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in favor of Medtronic that the burden of proving infringement rests with the party asserting a product infringes, even if a license exists between the patent holder and product manufacturer. The ruling came in the case of Medtronic, Inc. v. Mirowski Family Ventures.
"We are very pleased with the Court's unanimous ruling, which affirmed in this case there is no reason burden of proof law should favor the patentee," said Neill Ayotte, vice president and acting general counsel at Medtronic. "The case will now be remanded back to the Federal Circuit court for further review of other issues in the Miroswki appeal."
Medtronic is a licensee to the RE 38,119 patent ('119 Patent) and RE 38,897 patent ('897 Patent) owned by Mirowski Family Ventures, LLC (Mirowski) relating to the treatment of hemodynamic dysfunction. Medtronic and Mirowski dispute the application of the '119 and '897 Patents to certain Medtronic cardiac resynchronization products. On December 17, 2007, Medtronic filed an action in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware seeking a declaration that none of its products infringe any valid claims of either the '119 or '897 Patents. If certain conditions were fulfilled, the '119 and/or '897 Patents were determined to be valid, and the Medtronic products were found to infringe the '119 and/or '897 Patents, Medtronic would have been obligated to pay royalties to Mirowski based upon sales of certain cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D) products.
On March 30, 2011, the trial court entered a judgment of non-infringement in Medtronic's favor. On September 16, 2012, the Federal Circuit reversed and remanded the trial court's decision for a new trial, based on its holding that the trial court did not properly allocate the burden of proof in the initial proceedings. Medtronic filed a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court on March 15, 2013, which the Supreme Court granted on May 20, 2013, leading to today's ruling.
Medtronic, Inc. (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology - alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people around the world.
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