A Medical Device Daily

You lose some, you win some.

Last month, DePuy Spine (Raynham, Massachusetts) lost a court decision in a dispute with the Medtronic Sofamor Danek (Memphis, Tennessee's), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruling that Medtronic's CD Horizon M8 and CD Horizon M10 multi axial screws do not infringe the DePuy '678 patent. (Medical Device Daily, Nov. 22, 2006).

This month, the same court upheld a lower-court decision that Medtronic violated a pedicle screw patent held by DePuy and must pay the company $24.3 million in damages.

The Court of Appeals upheld the verdict reached by a federal jury in October 2004 that found that Medtronic's MAS pedicle screws infringed on a patent held by DePuy Spine. Pedicle screws are used in spinal surgery to correct spinal defects.

Gary Fischetti, President, DePuy Spine, said, “The patent portfolio that protects the products that we manufacture and sell is of the utmost importance.“

Biedermann Motech GmbH, a supplier of medical and orthopedic products based in Germany, owns the patent in question and DePuy Spine is the U.S. licensee.

DePuy Spine, a Johnson & Johnson company, has worked and partnered with leading clinicians, researchers, and thought leaders to develop products to treat spine disorders for over 20 years. The company is committed to advancing the knowledge of all health care professionals and their patients in addressing spinal pathologies.

In other legalities: AtriCure (West Chester, Ohio) acknowledged the class action securities suit filed against it, seeking damages for those who purchased the company's common stock from its IPO in August 2005 through Feb. 16, 2006 (MDD, Dec. 13, 2006).

The complaint charges that the registration statements in connection with the IPO failed to disclose that the Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, Ohio) — where procedures with the company's products were being performed — was an investor in the company and that doctors from the clinic had been paid consultants to the company.

On Feb. 16, 2006, AtriCure reported financial results for 4Q05 and the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2005, saying that it was experiencing a “negative impact“ on its business due to the revelations concerning the connection with the clinic, and its common stock rice dropped from $10.36 a share to $8.04 a share.

AtriCure manufactures surgical devices to create lesions in soft and cardiac tissues.

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