Arthrex said today it served a patent infringement lawsuit against Smith & Nephew (NYSE:SNN) and its subsidiary ArthroCare in the Federal Court for the East District of Texas, Marshall Division.
The lawsuit is the 2nd patent infringement Arthrex has filed against Smith & Nephew, and alleges 2 new infringements relating to Arthrex’s knotless anchor technology.
“Since its foundation, Arthrex has been committed to the mission of helping surgeons treat their patients better, and part of this mission necessarily involves protecting our inventions. We have full confidence in the strength of our patent position and will not sit back and allow this systematic, serial infringement of our patents, which ultimately harms the growth and advancement of orthopedic medicine and the patients that benefit from those innovations,” Arthrex GC John Schmieding said in a press release.
The 1st lawsuit from Arthrex against the British healthcare giant was filed in June this year, and alleged 47 counts of infringement related to 12 patents, Arthrex said.
The new suit alleges that Smith & Nephew and ArthroCare infringed on patents and is seeking an injunction and damages related to manufacturing and sales of implants. Products from Smith & Nephew referenced in the suit include the SpeedScrew, SpeedLock, SpeedLock Hip, LabraLock P, MultiFix, BioRaptor Knotless, Footprint PK, TwinFix and Ultra suture anchors.
This case is the latest in continued spat between the companies that has gone on for over a decade. Earlier this week, Arthrex asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a $99 million loss to Smith & Nephew in a patent infringement war over anchors used in shoulder repair procedures.
Smith & Nephew 1st sued Arthrex back in 2004, winning a $20.5 million judgment in June 2008. Although that verdict was overturned the next year, a new trial ended in an $85 million judgment for Smith & Nephew in 2011. After the case bounced from the district level to the U.S. Federal Circuit Appeals Court and back, the appeals court in March upheld the decision. In June Smith & Nephew said it received $99 million from Arthrex, including $4 million in costs and interest payments.
In an Oct. 30 petition for certiorari, Arthrex asked the Supremes to consider “whether a defendant may be held liable under a ‘knowledge’ standard where its actions were consistent with an understanding of relevant legal requirements that was not objectively unreasonable.”
Smith & Nephew isn’t the only company Arthrex has seen in court over patent issues recently.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a $29 million patent infringement loss for Arthrex, which wanted the high court to overturn a victory for orthopedics rival KFx Medical.
In petitioning the Supremes, Arthrex argued that the appeals court’s decision to treat the “reason to combine” question in determining the obviousness of patent validity as a factual issue was “inexplicable,” according to court filings.
KFx sued Arthrex in August 2011, alleging infringement of its patents by Arthrex’s SutureBridge and SpeedBridge devices for rotator cuff repair and Achilles tendon repair.
In October 2013 a jury found for KFx, awarding $29 million in damages. Judge Dana Sabraw of the U.S. District Court for Southern California later denied an Arthrex motion for a new trial and tacked on another $1.9 million in damages and prejudgment interest of 7%.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in January denied Arthrex’s appeal, prompting the Naples, Fla.-based company to ask the appeals bench for a full, en banc review. In April, the Federal Circuit denied that bid and issued an April 17 mandate enforcing the ruling; Arthrex later coughed up $35 million to satisfy the judgment.