In February 2014, Dr. Mark Barry alleged that Fridley, Minn.-based Medtronic infringed on three patents covering a “system and method for aligning vertebrae in the amelioration of aberrant spinal column deviation conditions.”
A jury in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas sided with Barry in November 2016, awarding $15.1 million for infringement of one patent and more than $2.6 million for infringement on the second; a $2.6 million award for overseas infringement was later overturned. In May 2017 the court awarded total damages of nearly $24 million.
Medtronic appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which in January issued a split 2-1 opinion affirming the lower court’s decision. Medtronic then sought both a three-judge en banc review and a review by the Federal Circuit’s full bench, arguing that the dissenting judge’s argument on one of the patents should carry the day. In April, the appeals court rejected Medtronic’s petition for a rehearing.
In a petition filed with the high court late last month, the company said that the appeals court did not follow precedent set by the Supreme Court in similar cases.