Medtronic (NYSE: MDT ) has won an intellectual property victory on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. The company announced today that the European Patent Office has invalidated and revoked a patent, the Spenser, held by Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW ) for an aortic valve replacement system. The decision represents a sort of reversal; last August, Edwards won an injunction in Germany that Medtronic's CoreValve transcatheter aortic valve infringed on the Spenser patent.
In the press release announcing the news, Medtronic quoted its Senior Vice President John Liddicoat as saying that the court's decision "will ensure that patients across Europe who need aortic valve replacement will have access to this life-saving therapy."
The two companies have been battling over transcatheter aortic valve patents for some time. This past January, a federal court jury in Delaware found that CoreValve infringed on a different Edwards patent, the Cribier. Medtronic was found liable for over $393 million in damages; the firm has said it will appeal the decision.