Jury rules for KCI in NPWT spat with Smith & Nephew

March 10, 2010 by MassDevice staff

A Texas jury ruled that Smith & Nephew's Renasys-F negative-pressure wound therapy infringes a pair of patents licensed to Kinetic Concepts Inc.

SNN, KCI logos

A Texas jury handed a win to Kinetic Concepts Inc. (NYSE:KCI) in its wound care war with Smith & Nephew (NYSE:SNN), ruling that the British medical products conglomerate infringed a pair of KCI-licensed patents with its Renasys-F negative-pressure wound therapy.

The jury in the U.S. District Court for Western Texas decided that the Smith & Nephew product violates a pair of patents owned by Wake Forest University and licensed to KCI, which sued Smith & Nephew for patent infringement in 2008. The jury found that KCI showed it lost about $900,000 in profits and about $143,000 in lost royalties due to the infringement, which also cost Wake Forest roughly $186,000 in lost royalties, according to court documents.

KCI said it plans to seek an injunction "to prevent further infringement by Smith & Nephew," according to a press release.

For its part, Smith & Nephew said it was "surprised and disappointed" at the verdict, "which Smith & Nephew believes are contrary to the facts and the law." The company said it would continue to press its invalidity claims against the patents, as there's still a chance that the court will rule in its favor because the jury's finding that the patents are valid was "merely advisory," according to a press release. Smith & Nephew said it will also file post-trial motions seeking to overturn the verdict.

It's the latest round in a long-running NPWT war between the two companies that has seen each side notch victories.

KCI won decisions in the U.S. and Australia, while the British conglomerate won decisions in Germany and the United Kingdom over equivalent intellectual property.