The U.S. Supreme Court dealt Medtronic a setback today when it refused to hear the medical device maker's appeal of a patent infringement lawsuit.
That could cost the Fridley-based company $250 million in damages.
Medtronic was appealing a judgment that a subsidiary violated a patent of Edwards Lifesciences Corp. The patent applied to devices that repair aortic valves without open-heart surgery. Bloomberg News reports the U.S. market for the devices could reach $2.5 billion.
The court ruling was a big blow for Medtronic, which currently only makes and sells the disputed products outside of the United States, because it could lock the company out of the national market.
"Medtronic had been looking at the product as one of its near-term growth drivers, especially in their U.S. business," Morningstar analyst Debbie Wang said. "If that is no longer a viable option in the U.S. that certainly could hurt the company in terms of its U.S. business and structural heart business."
That could set the company back as much as four years in its effort to bring a competitive product to market, she said.