A federal jury has ordered a medical equipment manufacturer to pay more than $14.5 million in a patent infringement dispute that involves a device invented by an Oregon physician. Dr. John O. Hayhurst and Smith & Nephew, a Massachusetts-based manufacturer, hold a patent for a device called an anchor. The device allows doctors to reattach tissue to bone and is primarily used in shoulder surgeries. A lawsuit filed in Portland, Oregon, in 2004 alleged that Florida-based Arthrex had been selling its own version of the device without paying the patent holders. If another company wants to make the patented device, it must pay royalties as required by law.
Because the jury determined that Arthrex acted intentionally, the judge has the authority to triple the verdict and award attorney’s fees. At press time, no date had been set for the judge to decide whether to do that. Arthrex claimed the device works differently than the one invented by Hayhurst. Smith & Nephew plans to seek an injunction prohibiting Arthrex from further manufacturing or selling the infringing devices in the United States. There will be an appeal in the case.
Source: Insurance Journal
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