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Federal Circuit Upholds $112 Million Win for Knobbe Martens Client CardiAQ

Thursday, September 21, 2017


On September 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a $112 million win for Knobbe Martens client CardiAQ in its trade secret misappropriation case against former service provider Neovasc. A three-judge panel upheld the award in a unanimous decision, stating that a Massachusetts federal court acted properly to deny Neovasc’s request for a new trial.

On May 19, 2016, a federal jury awarded CardiAQ $70 million in damages, finding that Neovasc had breached both its nondisclosure agreement with CardiAQ and its duty of honest performance while assisting the company to design life-saving prosthetic mitral heart valves. Five months later, on October 31, the federal district court in Boston awarded CardiAQ an additional $21 million in enhanced damages, and granted co-inventorship of the Neovasc transcatheter mitral valve patent to CardiAQ co-founders Arshad Quadri, M.D., and J. Brent Ratz. Edwards Lifesciences, which acquired CardiAQ in 2015, is now co-owner of the Neovasc patent. With interest, the award climbed to almost $112 million.

“CardiAQ has worked tirelessly to reduce patients’ need for open-heart surgery with its transcatheter mitral valve replacement program, and Neovasc took advantage of its position as a service provider to misappropriate this unique technology for its own gain,” said Knobbe Martens partner John Sganga, who represented CardiAQ through both trial and appeal. “We are pleased that the U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld the substantial damages awarded to CardiAQ for this abuse of its life-saving services.”

CardiAQ hired Neovasc in 2009 to assist with valve assembly, but sued the company in 2014 after learning that Neovasc had developed its own competing program. In addition to Sganga, Knobbe Martens’ trial and appeal team included partners Christy Lea, Brian Horne and Josh Stowell.

About Knobbe Martens

Consistently ranked among the top intellectual property firms in the nation and worldwide, Knobbe Martens dedicates its practice to all aspects of intellectual property and technology law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Knobbe Martens handles intellectual property litigation nationwide, including litigation at the district courts, the appellate courts, the PTAB and the ITC. Knobbe Martens has over 275 attorneys and scientists, including over 125 attorneys dedicated to intellectual property litigation.  The firm has offices in Orange County, California, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., and enjoys an international reputation for excellence.  More information about the firm can be found at


Nicholas Gaffney 415-732-7801

Meet the Knobbe Martens Attorneys

An experienced and proven advocate and trial lawyer, John Sganga has spent over three decades successfully and exclusively litigating intellectual property and technology disputes....
Christy Lea resolves high-stakes patent and trade secret disputes at both the trial and appellate levels. She has represented clients in the medical device and pharmaceutical...
Brian Horne is an experienced trial lawyer who litigates throughout the country for both plaintiffs and defendants.    Mr. Horne has been a member of trial teams that have won more...
Joshua Stowell represents and counsels clients in intellectual property disputes relating to patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and unfair competition.  He has litigated...
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