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Cordis Corp. v. Boston Scientific

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 09-28-2011
Case #: 2010 – 1311, 2010 – 1316
Before: Bryson, Mayer, Gajarsa
Full Text Opinion: http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/images/stories/opinions-orders/10-1311%20-1316.pdf

Patents: Patent infringement analysis is a two-step inquiry: first, the court determines the scope and meaning of the patent claims asserted, and then the properly construed claims are compared to the allegedly infringing device.

Cordis Corp. (“Cordis”) appealed the District Court of Delaware’s grant of judgment as a matter of law that Boston Scientific (“Boston”) did not literally infringe a claim term of Cordis’ patent related to balloon-expandable stents, and that the patents were not unenforceable due to inequitable conduct. The stents were devices that were used to treat occluded blood vessels, and provided an alternative to bypass surgery. Infringement analysis is a two-step inquiry: first, the court determines the scope and meaning of the patent claims asserted, and then the properly construed claims are compared to the allegedly infringing device. Also, claim terms must be construed in light of all of the intrinsic evidence, which includes not only the claim language and patent written description, but also the prosecution history.  Because the only evidence presented in favor of Cordis was their own expert’s opinion, the court found that there was not enough evidence to support the District Court’s jury verdict of literal infringement. Finally, this court has long held that inequitable conduct requires specific intent to deceive, and “to meet the clear and convincing evidence standard, the specific intent to deceive must be ‘the single most reasonable inference able to be drawn from the evidence.’ Because the search report conducted by Boston did not reveal the Cordis patent, and because they relied on their attorney’s advice in filing for their patent, they were found not to have engaged in inequitable conduct. Therefore, the court AFFIRMED the decision of the district court.