A $29 million judgment against Arthrex will stand in its patent war with KFx Medical after a federal judge in California declined to grant a new trial.
KFx sued Arthrex in August 2011, alleging infringement of the patents by Arthrex’s SutureBridge and SpeedBridge devices for rotator cuff repair and Achilles tendon repair, winning a $29 million decision last October after a jury found that Arthrex infringed its patent.
Arthrex asked Judge Dana Sabraw of the U.S. District Court for Southern California for a new trial, but to no avail, according to court documents.
"Here, Arthrex asserts a new trial is warranted because the jury’s invalidity and infringement verdicts are against the clear weight of the evidence. After careful consideration of the arguments raised in the parties’ briefs, the evidence presented at trial and the record on file in this case, the court disagrees with Arthrex’s arguments, and therefore denies its motion for a new trial," Sabraw wrote.
The judge also denied Arthrex’s bids for a judgment as a matter of law on obviousness, direct infringement, induced infringement and damages, but agreed with its argument against a judgment of willful infringement that could have tripled the damages award, according to the documents.
"[T]he Court is not convinced that KFx met its burden to prove by clear and convincing evidence that Arthrex ‘acted despite an objectively high likelihood that its actions constituted infringement of a valid patent,’" Sabraw wrote.
For its part, KFx asked the judge to grant prejudgment interest of 7% and a 3.43% royalty on sales of the SpeedBridge and SutureBridge device; barring that, KFx wanted Sabraw to enjoin Arthrex from promoting the devices and from using the SpeedBridge and SutureBridge trade names.
The judge declined to impose royalties or any injunctions, but did grant the prejudgment interest award.
KFX CEO Tate Scott told MassDevice.com today in a telephone interview that he’s thankful that the company’s backers stuck with it during the lawsuit.
"I’m just grateful to our investors for hanging with us during the litigation. It is expensive, but they hung with us," Scott told us. "I do fully expect Arthrex to appeal. That process would take us to about the end of next year, assuming they appeal pretty quickly. This was a battle, but the war’s not over."
It’s the latest legal setback for Arthrex, following on the heels of a federal judge’s order to stop selling some of its suture anchors in the U.S. as of Oct. 2 in a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Smith & Nephew(FTSE:SN, NYSE:SNN). Arthrex suffered another legal loss earlier this year when a federal appeals court overturned its $85 million win over the British healthcare giant. Arthrex has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of that decision.
Smith & Nephew inked a licensing deal with KFx for some of the products under dispute with Arthrex.