Medtronic awarded $101.2 million in patent infringement lawsuit

Medtronic was awarded $101.2 million in a patent infringement lawsuit when a San Diego jury found that NuVasive’s CoRoent XL spine implants, MaXcess II and III tissue retractors, and Helix and Helix mini anterior cervical plates had infringed on three Medtronic patents owned by Warsaw Orthopedic, Inc., a Medtronic unit.

However, Medtronic was also found guilty of infringing on one of NuVasive’s patents for a nerve-monitoring system for lateral spinal surgery, and owes the company $660,000 in damages.

Medtronic accused NuVasive of violating 12 patents in 2008.

Damages awarded to Medtronic were calculated with patent royalty rates of 3 percent, 6 percent and 10 percent lost profit damages with royalty reminder, whereas NuVasive’s damages had a 5.5 percent patent royalty rate.

According to Bloomberg data, the award is the fourth-largest patent infringement claim awarded in the U.S. in 2011, and the fourth-largest for a patent infringement claim.

Both companies are considering further legal action. Medtronic lawyer Alexander MacKinnon said the award only reflects damage through June 2010, and indicated that Medtronic would file a motion for additional damages past that date. Another Medtronic attorney, Luke Dauchot, also asserts that Medtronic did not infringe the NuVasive patent, and that the company is considering its options on how to proceed. Meanwhile, NuVasive CEO Alex Lukianov said in a statement that the company will “aggressively challenge” the verdict through the appellate process.

NuVasive (NASDAQ: NUVA) dropped 8.02 percent in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. ’While this may be farfetched, maybe it’s time for NUVA to consider selling itself,’ Rodman & Renshaw LLC analyst Suraj Kalia wrote, pointing to increased competition and slow growth potential.

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