Back in December 2011, a jury in the U.S. District Court for Northern California found that Spinal Kinetics’ M6-C and M6-L artificial disc implants do not infringe the Synthes patent, but declined to award legal fees in the case.
Synthes appealed that decision, arguing that the lower court misconstrued the claim construction of the patent.
But the Federal Circuit found Oct. 29 that the lower court’s construction was sound, denying Synthes’ appeal, according to court documents.
But the appeals court denied Spinal Kinetics’ motion for legal fees, ruling that the lawsuit was not an “exceptional case” involving either “subjective bad faith” or baselessness, according to the documents.
“[Spinal Kinetics] contends that Synthes brought objectively baseless allegations of infringement and validity and continued to push those claims in the face of facts and claim construction rulings that made clear that Synthes’ claims were unsupportable. [Spinal Kinetics] alleges that Synthes engaged in litigation misconduct by taking a number of baseless positions on everything from its claim construction arguments to its damages theory. [Spinal Kinetics] contends that the district court’s view of Synthes’ conduct was too myopic, failing to examine the propriety of its conduct as a whole,” according to the documents. “After an independent review of the record – in its entirety – we agree with the district court that [Spinal Kinetics] failed to demonstrate with clear and convincing evidence that it is entitled to attorney fees.”