Medtronic prevails in bone mill antitrust suit filed by Lenox MacLaren Surgical

Medtronic prevails in bone mill antitrust suit filed by Lenox MacLaren Surgical

Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) prevailed in an antitrust lawsuit filed over a bone mill made by Lenox MacLaren Surgical, with a federal judge ruling that Lenox misrepresented the size of the bone mill market and failed to adequately market its own device.

Lenox MacLaren Surgical first inked a distribution deal with Medtronic in 2000 for the bone mill, hoping the pact would provide the scale to put the devices in every orthopedic surgical suite in the world, according to court documents.

The deal allegedly came to naught after Medtronic only bought the 500 mills the contract called for, using a loaner program to create a thriving demand even as it worked to develop its own mill to usurp the Lenox MacLaren device, according to a lawsuit Lenox MacLaren filed last fall.

Bone mills are used to grind bone samples taken from patients into uniform pieces, which are then packed into a bone void or fracture during spinal fusion procedures to help the damaged vertebrae heal. Louisville, Colo.-based Lenox MacLaren’s hand-cranked device was an advance because it created uniform pieces, no matter how fast it was cranked, leaving the individual bone cells intact, according to court documents.

Lenox accused Medtronic of luring Lenox into the distribution deal to create a market for bone mills, planning to supplant her device via a false recall and replace it with its own Midas Rex mill. That case was settled in arbitration, with Lenox prevailing on a single claim: "intentional interference with prospective business relations by the issuance of a voluntary recall of the Lenox product in October 2006, to clear it out of the marketplace and replace it with the Midas Rex," according to court documents.

Lenox sued again after the discovery process in the first lawsuit revealed collusion among other Medtronic subsidiaries not named in the original suit, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. Medtronic argued that the arbitration clause in the contract with Lenox should be enforced. Judge Richard Matsch of the U.S. District Court for Colorado disagreed, denying the motion, and a three-judge 10th Circuit panel upheld that decision.

Matsch ruled June 21 that Lenox failed to prove that Medtronic unlawfully sought to exclude its mill from the market and that Lenox never sought to compete with its larger brethren, according to court documents.

"While there is no doubt that there are obstacles to new entrants, the argument that Medtronic could exclude competitors is defeated by the fact that Stryker (NYSE:SYK) entered the market in 2008 and captured a larger share than Medtronic, based on revenues, as early as 2011. In contrast, during the same time period, Lenox made little or no competitive efforts. Lenox did not actively market or promote its bone mill, other than maintaining a website. It relied on word-of-mouth to sell its products. Lenox did not seek another distributor or to obtain any other assistance in attempting to compete with Medtronic after the one-year period of exclusivity in the License Agreement expired or after the agreement ended in April, 2005," Matsch wrote. "In sum, the plaintiff’s submissions do not establish genuine issues of material fact as to relevant market, the defendants’ monopoly power, or antitrust injury. The plaintiff’s claims of monopolization and attempted monopolization fail because they are premised on an overly narrow definition of the relevant product market and inaccurate portrayal of the competitive landscape. With respect to antitrust injury, the plaintiff’s evidence, viewed in a light most favorable to it, shows injury only to itself."

RSS From Medical Design & Outsourcing

  • MIT’s MultiFab presents a stark challenge to incumbent 3D Printer manufacturers’ hardware, software, and business Models
    MIT’s Computational Fabrication Group recently announced the MultiFab, a low-cost 3D printer that can combine up to 10 different resins in one part and also includes a 3D scanning system to identify and fix errors during production. According to Lux Research, these capabilities are rare in commercial 3D printers today due to the manufacturers’ need […]
  • AVX releases Accu-P MP medical grade film chip capacitors for medical devices
    AVX Corporation, a leading manufacturer of passive components and interconnect solutions, has released a new series of thin film chip capacitors specifically designed to meet the demanding performance specifications for implantable medical devices. Delivering extremely tight capacitive tolerances, exceptionally repeatable performance, and remarkably low ESR and high Q at high frequencies—including VHF, UHF, and RF […]
  • RIVANNA commences manufacturing of its Accuro device
    Rivanna Medical announced that it has begun manufacturing its FDA-cleared Accuro device, a handheld and untethered smart-phone-sized device that is designed to guide spinal anesthesia with automated 3D navigation technology in addition to ultrasound imaging of abdominal, musculoskeletal, cardiac and peripheral vascular anatomies. The product will be launched at the ASA annual meeting in San […]
  • FDA seeks public input on Quality Metrics guidance
    by Oliver Wolf, Senior Product Manager, MasterControl In line with the general shift towards risk-driven approaches in the quality management world, FDA is now taking steps towards applying those same principles to its own auditing schedule. At the end of July, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and the Center for Biologics Evaluation […]
  • First ‘Ear Wear’ for Active Adults Debuts with MDHearingAid FIT
    If you’ve burned out your ears with earbuds, headphones or decades of other audio abuse but aren’t ready for your grandmother’s hearing aids, not to worry! The new MDHearingAid FIT gets you back in the game with a tiny, FDA-registered, one-size-fits-most solution that doesn’t block your ear canal like old-fashioned in-the-ear hearing aids. The FIT feels […]
  • CardioGenics enters into manufacturing agreement with Ontario-based Plasticap
    CardioGenics Holdings, developer for the In-Vitro-Diagnostics (“IVD”) testing market, announced that it has entered into a manufacturing agreement with Plasticap of Ontario, Canada, pursuant to which Plasticap will manufacture CardioGenics’ proprietary self-metering cartridges for its QL Care analyzer. The term of the agreement is three years and the purchase price for each cartridge shall be […]
  • MTD Micro Molding releases micro materials menu
    MTD Micro Molding, a long-time leader in micro-injection molding, has released an updated “Materials Menu” of materials that can be successfully micromolded to help guide engineers at medical device companies. Material selection is a crucial step in product manufacturability. The correct material drives tolerance, dimension, strength, usabality, speed-to-market, design, critical features, and cost. Through MTD’s […]
  • MedTech Chat: Elastic technology for drug delivery
    Dr. Zhen Gu and Dr. Yong Zhu from North Carolina State University are both co-senior authors of a research paper describing their recent work. Dr. Gu, Dr. Zhu and other researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a drug delivery technology that consists of an […]
  • B. Braun’s OEM Division offers large bore normally closed low-pressure check valves
    Infusion therapy and pain management device manufacturer B. Braun said today it is offering normally closed large-bore low-pressure check valves through its valve-focused contract manufacturing OEM division. The valves, offered by Bethlehem, Pa.-based B. Braun, are designed for the intermittent injection of fluids during medical treatment and open automatically when pressure is applied. The newly […]
  • Continuous 225W with natural convection for medical type BF power supply
    Powerbox, a European power supply company, introduces new Medline 225 series ac and dc single output open frame converters for medical type BF applications. The new OFM225 with its 3 x 5 in. footprint and 1.5 in. height is designed for a continuous output power of 225W with natural convection and 40°C ambient temperature, increasing to […]
  • Using data science to achieve ultra-low dose CT image reconstruction
    Prof. Jeff Fessler and Prof. Yong Long, Ph.D. of the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University (UM-SJTU) Joint Institute are collaborating on a project to develop a dramatically improved approach to low-dose X-ray CT image formation by extracting and using information from a big-data corpus of regular dose X-Ray Computed Tomography (CT) images. The research is […]

Leave a Reply