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Saturday, July 20, 2024 | Back issues
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D.C. Patent Ruling Called Into Apple-Samsung Case

(CN) - Apple thinks its $1 billion patent-infringement judgment against Samsung got a boost from a recent Federal Circuit order involving prosthetic heart valve makers.

On Tuesday, the Washington-based court upheld a jury determination that CoreValve and its subsidiary, Medtronic CoreValve, infringed on a prosthetic transcatheter heart valve patented by Edwards Lifesciences. The valve is mounted on a stent and implanted in the heart by catheter, avoiding the risks inherent in open heart surgery.

The federal jury, sitting in Delaware, had awarded Edwards Lifesciences more than $72.6 million in lost profits, plus another $1.2 million in royalties. The trial court declined to enhance damages for willful infringement, and it refused to enter an injunction against CoreValve, which had promised to move its manufacturing operations to Mexico if enjoined.

A three-judge appellate panel mostly affirmed, but directed the trial court to rethink the injunction.

"Edwards states on this appeal, and CoreValve does not deny, that CoreValve never stopped its infringing manufacture in California," Judge Pauline Newman wrote for the court. "Whether or not that representation was known to be false when made, the situation before us reflects, at least, changed circumstances."

The ruling was a welcome development for Apple, which won a $1 billion jury award against Samsung after a jury found that the Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets copied the iPhone and iPad.

Though the jury found for Apple on Aug. 24, the company's request for a permanent injunction still languishes undecided before U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh.

Apple filed a copy of the Federal Circuit opinion with Koh on Wednesday to make its case.

"The opinion is relevant to Apple's outstanding motion for a permanent injunction and Samsung motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50 [judgment as a matter of law in a jury trial]," according to the statement filed by Apple attorney Michael Jacobs of Morrison & Foerster. "Among other things, it addresses the standard for review of a damages verdict ... and the circumstances under which a permanent injunction should issue following a jury verdict."

A hearing in the Apple-Samsung slugfest is slated for Dec. 6.

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