A federal appeals court slashed the $226.3 million penalty owed to DePuy Spine by more than a third, after a review of a 2007 patent infringement case the Raynham company won against Medtronic Inc.
The decision stems from a lawsuit the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary filed in 2001, along with Biedermann Motech GmbH, accusing Medtronic of infringing a spinal surgery screw patent DePuy licensed from Biedermann with its now-discontinued Vertex line of multiaxial screws (Medtronic markets the Vertex Select system these days).
The initial ruling by the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts went in favor of Medtronic, but was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, according to the Law360 website (subscription).
In a 2007 trial, the jury found that the Vertex screws infringed the patent at issue and directed Medtronic to pony up $226.3 million in lost profits.
Although the appeals court affirmed $149.1 million in lost profits damages owed the plaintiffs, it rejected $77.2 million in damages for unrelated “pull-through” products, $10 million in penalties and nearly $500,000 in legal fees Medtronic was to have paid.