Boston Scientific has agreed to pay $716 million to Johnson & Johnson to settle 14 lawsuits related to patent disputes in the field of interventional cardiology. Both companies make products in that field that seek to be less invasive alternatives for patients with cardiovascular disease, who otherwise might be headed toward open-heart surgery.
Natick, MA-based Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX), said the money for the settlement will come out of its existing cash reserves, which stood at $1.19 billion at the end of June, when the company issued its most recent quarterly report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The legal disputes go at least as far back as 1997, according to company filings. Despite the size of the payment, Boston Scientific didn’t get rid of all its legal issues with one fell swoop.
“We are pleased we have been able to significantly reduce the amount of outstanding litigation we have with Johnson & Johnson,” said Ray Elliott, Boston Scientific’s CEO, in a statement. “We continue to work with them to resolve other outstanding matters.”
Boston Scientific has been bracing itself for a big legal payout for some time. The company accumulated $1.27 billion as of June 30 for its estimated legal payments, after it lost a court ruling this year to J&J for an estimated $237 million and a $50 million settlement payment to inventor Bruce Saffran. Both of those disputes were related to stent products.