Two of the Minnesota's big medical device companies argue a patent dispute before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday.
The lawsuit involves patents for heart products that Medtronic licenses from Boston Scientific.
About six years ago, Medtronic asked a federal court to rule that certain products don't infringe on the patents and therefore Medtronic isn't required to pay royalties. Although Medtronic initially prevailed in court, an appeals court ruled against the company.
The high court will have to decide if Boston Scientific has to prove Medtronic infringed on the patents, or if Medtronic has to show that it did not, said Felicia Boyd, a Minneapolis intellectual property attorney who is not involved in the case.
"Normally, if I wanted to sue you for patent infringement, I have to convince a judge or jury that you infringed my patent," Boyd said. "In this case that's going to be heard by the Supreme Court, the question is: Who actually has to carry that burden of proof?