Judge Backs Abbott Over Medinol In Dispute on Heart-Stent License


August 8, 2007

August 8, 2007 - A U.S. District Court judge enforced a settlement this week between Abbott Laboratories Inc. and Israeli company Medinol Ltd. to removed an entanglement for a key drug-eludting stent heart device Abbott is bringing to the United States.

Tuesday's ruling involves a settlement that was reached in mid-2006, but became the subject of disagreement over how broadly Abbott could use a license for a stent patent held by Medinol. The Israeli company felt the license should be restricted to Abbott's Vision and Xience stents, but Abbott believed its license allows unrestricted use for any stents it develops.

Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York agreed with Abbott and said if Medinol wanted to restrict the license to two products it should have writtemn it into the contract.

Abbott acquired the stent technology through last year's purchase of Guidant Corp.'s vascular business. Vision is a bare-metal device already FDA approved and Xience, its DES platform, is seeking FDA clearance. Abbott hopes to launch Xience in the U.S. in the first half of 2008.

Medinol in 2003 sued Guidant alleging tthe company's products infringed upon certain Medinol patents. A 2006 ruling said Guidant infringed upon one patent and resulted in a settlement that Abbott has agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to license the patent.