Saturday, April 16, 2005

Mixed result in Biomet, Medtronic case

from CNN, through Reuters:

Orthopedic device maker Biomet Inc. said on April 14, 2005 that a U.S. District Court found that a new spinal implant made by rival Medtronic Inc. violates one of Biomet's patents. [Biomet wins, Medtronic loses.]

Biomet said the court had previously found that Medtronic's polyaxial screws used in spinal implants had violated a Biomet patent and the court issued an injunction against the sale of those products. Medtronic's redesigned versions of those products were also found to infringe the patent.

The court also ruled that Biomet's Cross C-Tek anterior cervical plate infringed two Medtronic patents, and that those two Medtronic patents are valid. The court ruled that Medtronic's Premier plate infringed a Cross anterior cervical plate patent, but that the patent was invalid because Medtronic invented its Premier plate before Cross invented its C-Tek plate. [Biomet loses, Medtronic wins.]

from the South Bend Tribune:

A federal district court in California ruled that Warsaw-based orthopedic product maker Biomet Inc. violated multiple patents held by rival Medtronic Inc., but upheld Biomet's patent in another case, the companies said Thursday in separate statements.

The court said the C-Tek plate made by Biomet violates two Minneapolis-based Medtronic patents. The plates are used to increase neck stability following cervical surgery.

Biomet said sales of the C-Tek plate account for less than 1 percent of its sales.

Biomet prevailed in a dispute over the design of spinal implant polyaxial screws, used to stabilize the spine and correct back disorders. Biomet said it will immediately request a permanent injunction against Medtronic's redesigned screws.

Both companies said they plan to appeal the rulings against them. Shares of Biomet, which are traded on the Nasdaq, rose 20 cents Thursday to close at $38.06.


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