NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal jury ordered Medtronic Inc. to pay $73.5 million to Edwards Lifesciences Corp. for violating a patent on Edwards' Sapien XT heart valve.
The jury found that Medtronic's CoreValve business willfully infringed on a patent that relates to an artificial valve that is implanted through a catheter. Edwards said it will ask for a permanent injunction that would block Medtronic from selling the Sapien valve -- which has not been approved -- in the U.S.
Because the jury decided the infringement was intentional, Edwards can seek damages worth as much as three times the original award, or about $220.5 million.
The CoreValve and Sapien valves have not been approved for sale in the U.S. but are on the market in other countries. Both are intended to replace diseased heart valves, but instead of being implanted through open-heart surgery, they are guided to the heart through an artery in the leg. The diseased valve is replaced but is not removed.
Edwards, which is based in Irvine, Calif. announced the ruling after the markets closed on Thursday. Minneapolis-based Medtronic said it plans to appeal the ruling and oppose the injunction. Courts in the U.K. and Germany have found the CoreValve device does not infringe on the same patent.
Medtronic said the ruling does not prevent it from selling CoreValve products in other countries, and said it has enough manufacturing capacity to meet demand overseas if there is a permanent injunction. It said it would also be able to perform CoreValve clinical trials in the U.S., and that the patent is scheduled to expire before the Food and Drug Administration makes a decision on a marketing application for CoreValve.
Edwards filed suit against Medtronic in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in February 2008.