Cochlear to appeal patent judgement

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Cochlear says it will appeal a $370 million ($US268 million) judgement against the company in a patent infringement lawsuit by the Alfred E. Mann Foundation for Scientific Research and Advanced Bionics.

This was the latest judgment in a case that dates back to 2014.

The company established a provision in 2014 based on the view of its independent damages expert’s assessment of the liability that could result from the dispute.

Cochlear, while noting that the infringement relates to a long-expired patent and has no ongoing impact on its business, said it will now undertake a review of the current A$21.3 million provision.

According to Cochlear’s CEO and president, Dig Howitt, “We are surprised by the decision and do not agree with the reasons given by the judge. We will continue to defend this case and the next step in the litigation process is our appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals. The case is likely to take years to finally resolve.”

A decision on the appeal is expected in approximately two years, said the company.

To stay the execution of the judgment pending the outcome of the appeal, Cochlear said it will need to lodge a US$335 million insurance bond with the Court within 14 days of the entry of judgment to secure the judgment amount, and any interest and costs.

"Cochlear has debt and other facilities available to cover the amount of the insurance bond," it said.