January 31, 2011 - Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Cordis Corp. have been ordered to pay $482 million to Bruce Saffran, a doctor from New Jersey, for infringing his patent on a cardiac stent.
Saffran sued J&J and Cordis in 2007, claiming that Cordis' Cypher stents infringed his 1997 patent on heart stents that also release medication. The jury found that not only did J&J/Cordis infringe the patent, but that they did so willingly - a fact that allowed the court to triple the damages.
The inventor in this case is not unaccustomed to large damages awards. In 2008, another federal jury in Texas awarded Saffran a $431.9 million patent infringement judgment against Boston Scientific Corp., and the amount was later raised to $501 million by U.S. District Judge T. John Ward.
"The company believes this is contrary to both the law and the facts set forward in the case," Cordis spokeswoman Sandra Pound said in a statement. "We will ask the judge to overturn this verdict and if unsuccessful, we plan to appeal the verdict.”