See more of the story

Medtronic won a key court decision in its long-running battle about patent issues with medtech competitor Teleflex Inc.

Pennsylvania-based Teleflex filed a lawsuit in 2019 alleging Medtronic's Telescope guide extension catheter technology copied its GuideLiner products. The catheters are for interventional cardiology procedures.

Earlier this week, the U.S. District Court in Minnesota ruled Teleflex's patent infringement claims against Medtronic were not valid. Patrick Schiltz, chief judge of the court, said Teleflex failed to adequately define the components of its device compared to the one Medtronic produced.

"Medtronic is pleased with the court's decision," Medtronic said in a statement. "... Medtronic respects the intellectual property rights of others and is also committed to protecting and defending our technology and innovation to serve patients."

Teleflex did not respond to a request for comment.

Maple Grove-based Vascular Solutions Inc. initially developed the disputed technology and introduced it under the GuideLiner brand in 2009. Pennsylvania-based Teleflex acquired Vascular Solutions in 2017 for $1 billion.

There are two groups of cases between the companies. Separate from the district court case, Medtronic filed several later-consolidated cases challenging the validity of Teleflex's patents.

In June, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit supported an earlier decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Patent Trial and Appeal Board that sided with Teleflex. But in the wake of the district court ruling this week, that opinion is now effectively moot.

At the time, Medtronic said "these decisions addressed a narrow subset of issues in a much broader case and have little impact on the underlying district court case."

Medtronic decided not to appeal the June ruling from the appellate court but is still waiting for one decision in that case.