Boston Scientific Corp has come out on top in the latest of a large number of legal battles it has been fighting with Johnson & Johnson, sending its shares up more than 6%.

A US district court jury in Delaware found that J&J’s drug-eluting Cypher stent and bare-metal stents, including Bx Velocity, Bx Sonic and Genesis, infringe two Boston Scientific patents, and upheld the patents’ validity.

The company was understandably delighted with the decision but it noted that the judgement only determined liability and “money damages and any other relief will be determined subsequently.” It is thought that trials to determine damages will take place in August, unless the firms reach some sort of settlement before then, but such a deal seems highly unlikely at present given that J&J has announced its intention to appeal the court’s ruling.

Despite this, Phil Nalbone at broker RBC Capital Markets said that “this evens the score in the long-running patent war between these two companies at two apiece,’’ adding that the outcome “is especially important since it gives Boston Scientific a major piece of leverage in attempting to bring these cases to a settlement.’’

Only a couple of weeks ago, a jury in the same Delaware court found that four Boston Scientific stents infringed on J&J patents [[22/06/05b]], so the legal wrangling could go on for some time yet.