Arthrex loses another round in patent spat with Smith & Nephew

Arthrex公司在专利官司中再次败给施乐辉,两者“缠斗”已达15年

2019-08-22 20:01:00 mass

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Arthrex has lost another battle in a patent dispute with Smith & Nephew’s ArthroCare. A U.S. Court of Appeals panel today rejected Arthrex’s attempt to overturn a Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling that two claims of an Arthrex patent on a surgical suture anchor are unpatentable. Smith & Nephew had challenged claims 10 and 11 of Arthrex’s patent ‘541, stating that the design was “obvious” based upon the designs described in previous patents. Arthrex based its appeal on the fact that the patent board used different language than Smith & Nephew had used in its petition. U.S. District Court judges Timothy Dyk, Edward Chen and Kara Fernandez Stoll ruled that “the Board’s minor variation in wording” does not violate Arthrex’s procedural rights. In an order written by Stoll, the court said that the patent board’s findings have substantial evidence support. “Arthrex has not articulated a cognizable constitutional challenge” to the patent board’s review, Stoll added. Arthrex did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The loss was the second blow to Arthrex in this part of a long-running patent spat with Smith & Nephew. In January 2018, a different appeals court panel found that claims 1 to 9 of the same ‘541 patent were invalid as well. The patent was granted in 2014. In February 2017, Arthrex said it buried the hatchet on a 12-year-old dispute over patents covering suture anchors used in joint repair surgeries. Details on that settlement, which put to bed several lawsuits filed in federal court in Texas, were not disclosed. The agreement followed a $17.4 million jury verdict for Naples, Fla.-based Arthrex in 2016, in which the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas panel found that Smith & Nephew subsidiary ArthroCare infringed a pair of Arthrex patents. The infringement was willful, the jury found, opening the door to trebled damages. Arthrex said at the time that it planned to pursue an injunction barring further manufacture and sales of the infringing devices, as well as further damages. Smith & Nephew first sued Arthrex over suture anchors back in 2004, winning a $20.5 million judgment in June 2008. Although that verdict was overturned the next year, a new trial ended in an $85 million judgment for Smith & Nephew in 2011. After the case bounced from the district level to the U.S. Federal Circuit Appeals Court and back, the appeals court in March 2015 upheld the decision. In June of that year, Smith & Nephew said it received $99 million from Arthrex, including $4 million in costs and interest payments. In November 2016, Arthrex asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a $99 million loss to the British orthopedic and wound care giant.
在与 Smith & Nephew's ArthrCare 的专利纠纷中, Arthrex 又输了一场官司。 美国上诉法院的一个小组今天驳回了 Arthrex 试图推翻专利审判和上诉委员会的裁决,即两项关于手术缝合锚上的 Arthrex 专利的主张是不可接受的。施乐辉(Smith & Nephew)对 Arthrex 专利“541”的10和11项权利提出了质疑,声称该设计基于先前专利中描述的设计是“明显的”。 Arthrex 的上诉是基于这样一个事实,即专利委员会使用的语言与施乐辉(Smith & Nephew)在其请愿书中使用的语言不同。美国地方法院法官 Timothy Dyk 、 Edward Chen 和 Kara Fernandez Stoll 裁定,“委员会措辞的微小变化”不侵犯 Arthrex 的程序权利。 法院在 Stoll 的一份命令中表示,专利委员会的调查结果有实质性的证据支持。Stoll 补充道,“ Arthrex 还没有对专利委员会的审查明确提出宪法挑战”。 Arthrex 没有立即回应置评请求。 这是与施乐辉(Smith & Nephew)的长期专利纠纷中对 Arthrex 的第二次打击。2018年1月,另一个上诉法院小组认定,同一“541”专利的权利要求1至9也无效。该专利于2014年获得授权。 2017年2月, Arthrex 表示,在一场长达12年的专利纠纷中,该公司掩埋了舱口,涉及用于联合修复手术的缝合锚。该和解协议的细节并未披露,该协议让德克萨斯州联邦法院提起了多起诉讼。 在此之前,佛罗里达州那不勒斯的陪审团做出了1740万美元的判决。-总部位于 Arthrex 的2016年,美国东德克萨斯州地区法院专家组发现施乐辉(Smith & Nephew)子公司 ArthrCare 侵犯了一对 Arthrex 专利。陪审团发现,侵权行为是故意的,这使得损失增加了两倍。 Arthrex 当时表示,它计划寻求禁令,禁止进一步制造和销售侵权设备,以及进一步的损害赔偿。 施乐辉(Smith & Nephew)于2004年首次起诉 Arthrex 公司,罪名是缝合锚,2008年6月赢得了2050万美元的判决。尽管这一判决在明年被推翻,但2011年,一项新的审判以8,500万美元的判决结束。在案件从地区一级反弹到美国联邦巡回上诉法院后,上诉法院于2015年3月维持了判决。同年6月,施乐辉(Smith & Nephew)表示从 Arthrex 收到9900万美元,其中包括400万美元的成本和利息。 2016年11月, Arthrex 要求美国最高法院审查向英国骨科和伤口护理巨头造成的9900万美元损失。

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