CardiAQ Valve Technologies (CardiAQ) has announced that the European Patent Office Legal Division issued a temporary stay of further proceedings in Neovasc’s pending European patent application covering transcatheter mitral valve implantation technology. This action comes as the initial result of the lawsuit filed late June 2014 in Germany by CardiAQ against Neovasc.
CardiAQ, which performed the first ever trans-femoral, transcatheter mitral valve implantation procedure in June of 2012 with its self-conforming, self-anchoring implant technology, alleges that the subject matter of Neovasc’s pending European patent application is CardiAQ technology that Neovasc obtained from CardiAQ in 2009 and 2010 when the two were in a confidential supplier relationship. During that time, CardiAQ provided to Neovasc confidential information about CardiAQ’s transcatheter mitral valve implantation technology so that Neovasc could fashion and attach valve tissue designed by CardiAQ to valve frames designed by CardiAQ. Without CardiAQ’s knowledge, and in express breach of the confidentiality agreement, Neovasc used that confidential CardiAQ information to not only develop a competing transcatheter mitral valve implantation prosthetic, but to file patent applications on aspects of the technology in Europe and in the USA. Through its pending patent applications, Neovasc is attempting to block CardiAQ from using its own technology.
In early June, CardiAQ also filed a lawsuit against Neovasc in Massachusetts, USA in which CardiAQ seeks to preclude Neovasc from marketing a transcatheter mitral valve prosthesis that uses proprietary CardiAQ technology and from further prosecution of any US patents in which Neovasc is seeking to protect confidential CardiAQ transcatheter mitral valve implantation technology. That US lawsuit is still in its early stages.
“We recognise that transcatheter mitral valve implantation has become one of the most competitive spaces in medical devices and will remain that way for years to come,” says Rob Michiels, chief executive officer. “As pioneers in this new field, CardiAQ set the standard for transcatheter mitral valve implantation positioning and anchoring and we will defend our intellectual property and trade secrets vigorously. Thus, CardiAQ had no choice but to also file a lawsuit in Germany and, pending the outcome of that lawsuit, seek a temporary stay of Neovasc’s pending European patent application.”