5 Times Small Firms Brought Patent Challenges: Arthrex vs Smith & Nephew

Arthrex vs Smith & Nephew

It's a stretch to call Arthrex small, since the orthopedic company is one of Florida's largest private companies with self-reported sales of more than $1 billion in 2011But the company is significantly smaller than well-known competitor Smith & Nephew.

Litigation between the two companies dates back to 2004, when Smith & Nephew brought a case against Arthrex. That case led to a $20.5 million judgment win for Smith & Nephew in June 2008 and after that was overturned, a new trial resulted in an $85 million win for Smith & Nephew in 2011. After an appeals court agreed with the decision, Arthrex paid Smith & Nephew $99 million in June 2015. According to a Smith & Nephew SEC filing, another trial on the same patent with different Arthrex products is underway in Oregon. 

Also in June 2015, Arthrex filed a patent infringement suit of its own against Smith & Nephew and subsidiary ArthroCare. That suit included 47 counts of infringement on 12 Arthrex patents. In November 2015, Arthrex filed another suit, adding two more counts of infringements against another patent related to its knotless anchor technology. Arthrex's suit alleges that patent infringement by a number of Smith & Nephew products, including the SpeedScrew, SpeedLock, SpeedLock Hip, Footprint PK, and others. 

Did it pay off for Arthrex? We say—too soon to say.

         

 

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[Image courtesy of SIRA ANAMWONG/FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET]