U.S. top court rejects Boston Scientific’s patent licensing appeal

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By Andrew Chung

<span class="articleLocation”>The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday turned away an
appeal by Boston Scientific Corp of a Maryland state
court jury verdict ordering the medical device company to pay
$308 million to a patent licensor for breach of contract
concerning implantable cardiac devices.

Boston Scientific had asked the justices to hear its appeal
in the dispute over its licenses to patented technology on the
implantable devices owned by Mirowski Family Ventures, arguing
the Maryland court made mistakes applying patent law, a job
typically reserved for federal courts.

In its lawsuit, Maryland-based Mirowski claimed
Massachusetts-based Boston Scientific did not pay all the
royalties it owed after acquiring Guidant Corp, which had
licensed the patents, and then settling patent infringement
litigation involving Guidant.

The patents related to devices that can correct irregular
heart rhythms, preventing cardiac arrest.

In 2014, a state jury awarded Mirowski about $308 million in
royalties and damages for breaching a license agreement. The
Maryland Court of Appeals refused to hear the appeal last July.

Boston Scientific said the judge in the Maryland Circuit
Court violated federal precedents by refusing to interpret the
meaning of one of the patents, saying the task made him feel “queasy.”

The case illustrates the hazards of relegating highly
technical and complex issues of patent law to state courts,
Boston Scientific said.

Mirowski had urged the Supreme Court not to hear the appeal,
arguing the state court judge merely adopted the meaning of the
patent made by a federal judge in a previous case.



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