Synthes, Inc. (Synthes), a Switzerland-based medical device company, has won favorable Court rulings in its ProDisc patent litigation against Medtronic, Inc. (Medtronic). On August 26, 2009, the US District Court in Memphis, Tennessee, (Court) permanently enjoined Medtronic from infringing Synthes' US Patent, covering Synthes' ProDisc-L artificial disc replacement device.

The Court also doubled Synthes’ actual damages (for the period until the end of 2008), with the total award now exceeding $21.0 million in damages, interest and costs. In addition, the Court ruled that Synthes is entitled to an award of its attorneys’ fees because of Medtronic’s willful infringement.

We are pleased that the Court has upheld the jury’s verdict, said Michel Orsinger, president and chief executive officer of Synthes. Synthes has made substantial investments towards the ProDisc artificial disc replacement devices, and the rulings by the Court confirm our intellectual property rights in that technology, he continued.

In 2007, Synthes filed suit against Medtronic, asserting that their Maverick products infringe the ‘071 patent. In November 2008, a jury had reached a verdict that Medtronic willfully infringed the ‘071 patent by its manufacture and sale of the Maverick product lines. On August 19, 2009, the Court denied Medtronic’s motion for a new trial. Medtronic is appealing these rulings to the US Court of Appeals.

ProDisc-L is a total disc replacement device used to replace diseased vertebral discs in the lumbar spine. It was approved in 2006 by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for commercial sale in the US and has since shown good clinical results.