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A Federal Appeals Court Revives Pacemaker Ruling Against St. Jude Medical

The US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (A federal appeals court), on August 19, 2009, has revived an earlier patent infringement ruling about pacemakers against St. Jude Medical, Inc. (St. Jude Medical), but limited the company's exposure to financial damages, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

A federal appeals court sent the case back to lower court, so a judge can award damages to Guidant Corp. and Cardiac Pacemakers Inc. (Cardiac Pacemakers), which filed patent infringement action against St. Jude Medical in 1996. Guidant is now a unit of Boston Scientific Corp.

Cardiac Pacemakers alleged in its patent infringement action that St. Jude Medical infringed on its patent for a pacemaker. A jury in 2001 awarded Cardiac Pacemakers $140 million in royalties for patent infringement but another court reversed the ruling.

The court ruled that the infringement applies only when the product was used in the US, not outside the US. St. Jude Medical said the product in question was infrequently used in the US. As a result, the company says damages will be immaterial.