CardiAQ Wins $70 Million in Trade Secrets Suit

A federal jury found in favor of CardiAQ in a lawsuit filed against former service provider, Neovasc. The jury found that Neovasc breached the non-disclosure agreement between the parties, misappropriated CardiAQ’s trade secrets, and breached its duty of honest performance to CardiAQ. The jury awarded $70 million in damages for trade secret misappropriation.

CardiAQ co-founder J. Brent Ratz said in a press release that the company worked for years to develop and create the CardiAQ transcatheter mitral valve, which provides an alternative to open heart surgery. Ratz stated that:

We are proud of this foundational work and grateful that the jury recognized these contributions to the developing field of transcatheter mitral valve replacement.

According to the press release, CardiAQ hired Neovasc in 2009 to provide services for its transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) program and Neovasc signed a non-disclosure agreement. While working for CardiAQ, Neovasc started its own TMVR program without notifying CardiAQ. After discovering a Neovasc patent publication in late 2011, CardiAQ initiated this litigation in 2014 regarding Neovasc’s transcatheter mitral valve technology, including the Tiara.

According to the press release, the jury also issued advisory findings that Neovasc engaged in unfair or deceptive practices and that CardiAQ’s founders, Ratz and Dr. Arshad Quadri, contributed to the conception of Neovasc’s U.S. Patent No. 8,579,964. The judge is expected to rule later on causes of action under Massachusetts Gen. Law Ch. 93A and patent inventorship.

Edwards Lifesciences Corporation, based in Irvine, Calif., acquired CardiAQ in 2015.

CardiAQ was represented in the litigation by Knobbe Martens LLP, including lead partners John B. Sganga, Jr.  and Christy G. Lea.

April White
April White is an associate in our San Diego office. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. White attended law school at the University of San Diego School of Law. While in law school, Ms. White was an editor for the San Diego Law Review. Prior to her legal education, she received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Louisville. Ms. White joined the firm in 2015.
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