Hologic loses patent suit to Smith & Nephew, has to pay $4M

Hologic's ($HOLX) two-year patent battle with Smith & Nephew ($SNN) over the patent to a surgical device has come to an end, and Hologic will have to fork over $4 million.

At issue is Hologic's MyoSure hysteroscopic tissue removal system--used to excise fibroids and polyps from the uterus--that the company absorbed in its $125 million buyout of Interlace Medical in 2011. S&N sued the two companies for patent infringement, and a Massachusetts jury this week ruled in the British orthopedic giant's favor, awarding S&N $4 million in damages for lost profits.

Under the terms of its Interlace acquisition, Hologic is indemnified only to a previously agreed upon dollar amount for any liabilities--like a lost lawsuit--but the company did not disclose how much of the $4 million will come from its coffers.

Hologic will keep MyoSure on the market, Senior Vice President Mark Casey said in a statement, and the company will consider an appeal. "This is but the first step in a multi-phase process, and there remain several issues to be decided by the Court which could impact the applicability of this verdict," Casey said.

- read Hologic's release
- get MassDevice's take