Court overturns $482M patent decision against J&J

(AP)—A federal appeals court says that a Johnson & Johnson heart stent does not infringe a patent held by a doctor and inventor, overturning a $482 million decision against the company.

The three-judge panel said a lower court misinterpreted the company's patent and should not have ruled in favor of Bruce Saffran, a doctor from Princeton, N.J.

Heart stents are mesh-wire tubes that prop open arteries affected by coronary artery disease. The dispute centered over drug-eluting stents, which release a drug to help keep arteries from clogging.

Saffran sued J&J in 2007 saying its Cypher stents infringed on his 1997 patent covering technology to deliver medication inside the body. A Texas jury ruled in Saffran's favor in 2011, concluding J&J had willfully infringed on his .

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