I reported a few weeks ago that following two big verdicts against Boston Scientific, patent-holding company Acacia Research Corporation filed a lawsuit in the medical-device area. Acacia subsidiary Cardio Access LLC filed a patent infringement lawsuit in East Texas against Boston Scientific, Medtronic, and Johnson & Johnson. Those three companies have fought patent battles in U.S. courts with regularity over cardiac stent technology.
(For more on that read "Keeping Arteries Cleared and the Courts Clogged," NYT Oct. 2007.)
Yesterday, Cardio Access dropped that lawsuit and re-filed in the same district, adding a fourth defendant, California-based Edwards Lifescience Corp. Same technology at issue, U.S. Patent No. 5,254,097, which relates to certain kinds of catheters and cannulae used in heart surgery.
Cardio Access is represented by Texas-based Nelson Bumgardner Casto PC. Johnson & Johnson was represented by Sidley Austin in the first Cardio Access lawsuit; other defendants have not yet named counsel. I put calls in to both Acacia and Nelson Bumgardner but haven't heard back yet.
Acacia, based in Newport Beach, Calif., mostly acquires patents in the high-tech area, but it has bought in to a few medical areas, purchasing patents related to purifying plasmid DNA products (pdf), heated surgical blades (pdf), and recently some patents alleged they say to read on latharoscopic surgery (pdf). According to another press release, the company appears to have acquired what sounds like the Cardio Access technology (pdf) in January—one month before Boston Scientific started its $750 million losing streak.
For Acacia, that has to look like good timing. But it's worth noting that even after the big losses, BoSci's stock price has held steady. Acacia, meanwhile, has had its stock price tumble by nearly 75 percent since November, when it lost its first jury trial to a team led by Weil, Gotshal litigator Matt Powers.