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J&J’s Stent Legal Strategy

Posted Oct 28 2008 9:56pm

No, this isn’t another article about Johnson & Johnson’s strategy to sue the American Red Cross. I’ve questioned J&J’s legal strategy (not to mention their Communications preparedness) in other articles, but this one just baffles me—

To defend itself against a patent infringement case, J&J’s legal argument is that its product has safety issues. No, this isn’t a joke. Read “ Johnson & Johnson’s Risky Tactic Fails in Patent Fight ” in yesterday’s New York Times.

It goes like this: Johnson & Johnson “lawyers hoped to persuade a federal judge in Delaware that because Johnson & Johnson’s drug-coated Cypher stent had been linked in clinical studies to blood clots, it fell outside the safety profile of a Boston Scientific patent.”

In other words J&J is telling doctors and patients one thing and something else to the courts: “That position appeared to contradict Johnson & Johnson’s repeated assertions in its communications with doctors and the public in the past year that Cypher is no more likely to induce clots than older bare-metal stents.”

And in plain English: There are more safety concerns with our product, so we obviously didn’t violate their patent. I can’t wait to get my hands on the court transcripts!

The J&J lawyers should be commended for their honesty.
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