Medtronic awarded $101.2M in patent infringement case

Medtronic ($MDT) has won $101.2 million in damages after a San Diego jury found NuVasive's ($NUVA) CoRoent XL implants, MaXcess II and III retractors and Helix and Helix mini anterior cervical plates infringe three patents owned by the device giant. But it wasn't a total win for Medtronic. The jury also determined the company's NIM-Eclipse System infringes a patent held by NuVasive, which won monetary damages of $660,000, including back royalty payments.

The lawsuit was initially filed in 2008, and Medtronic has asserted 9 patents against NuVasive in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. However, NuVasive has countersued and asserted three patents against Medtronic. The trial has been broken into phases, and the first phase included the three Medtronic patents and one NuVasive patent.

"We are pleased by the jury's verdict," Doug King, senior VP and president of Medtronic Spinal, says in a statement. "The decision confirms our leadership in spinal implant technology, and we remain committed to vigorously defending our intellectual property."

During the trial, Frank Scherkenbach, a lawyer for NuVasive, tried to cast the fight between the companies as a David vs. Goliath-type battle. Indeed, NuVasive's devices had been so successful, it became a target for Medtronic. "They wanted in on this product," he said, as quoted by Bloomberg.

Although the jury found against it on the three patents, NuVasive isn't backing down. It believes the facts and the law do not support the jury's findings in favor of Medtronic and promises to try and overturn the verdict in post-trial motions. And if the court doesn't grant NuVasive's motions, it plans to "vigorously challenge" the verdict in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the company said in a statement.

The jury's verdict has resulted in the 14th largest jury award so far this year in the U.S., as well as the fourth largest for a patent-infringement claim, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.

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