A federal jury in the US has ordered Fidelio Capital and one of its companies to pay more than $59.4m in damages to DePuy Synthes, a unit of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), in a patent dispute pertaining to veterinary orthopaedic implants.

As per a statement from the court based in Jacksonville, Florida, Fidelio Capital, which is a Swedish investment firm, and Veterinary Orthopaedic Implants wilfully infringed DePuy Synthes’ knee-implant patents.

DePuy Synthes, which is a medical device firm based in Massachusetts, filed a lawsuit against the parties in 2018. The allegation was that two of its patents were infringed by Veterinary Orthopaedic Implants’ plates used in Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgical procedures meant for the treatment of cruciate ligament ruptures in the knee joints of dogs.

In its updated 2021 complaint, the company charged Veterinary Orthopaedic Implants of selling screws and plates used in knee surgery for dogs and other animals by infringing its patents.

The Johnson & Johnson unit alleged that Veterinary Orthopaedic Implants copied its designs intentionally and tried to hide them by sending it altered plates during talks, reported Reuters.

The lawsuit further claimed that Fidelio Capital was individually accountable for the infringement as Veterinary Orthopaedic Implants was functioning as a alter ego and mere instrumentality of the business.

A DePuy Synthes spokesperson, has been quoted by the publication, as saying: “the company will continue to defend our IP and products.”

In their arguments, Veterinary Orthopaedic Implants and Fidelio Capital rejected the infringement claims and said that the patents were invalid.

Vimian Group, the parent company of Veterinary Orthopaedic Implants, stated that it strongly disagrees with the jury’s judgement and will consider its options, including post-trial motions as well an appeal. The group’s largest shareholder is Fidelio Capital.

In a statement, Vimian Group said: “The jury verdict is not a formal judgement by the Florida court, which is not expected until later this year.”