Medtronic to pay Dr. Mark Barry $23.5M for 2 spine device patent infringements — 5 things to know

Written by Megan Wood | May 19, 2017 | Print  |

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark, a Texas federal judge, ordered Medtronic to pay a spine surgeon $23.5 million in a patent infringement case on May 16, according to Law 360.

Here are five things to know:


1. The case dates back to 2014, when Texas spine surgeon Mark Barry, MD, sued Medtronic in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, claiming multiple patent infringements, according to Mass Device. He alleged Medtronic infringed his patent: "System and Method for Aligning Vertebrae in the Ameliorating of Aberrant Spinal Column Deviation Conditions."

2. The case went to court in November 2016, where the jury found Medtronic "actively induced" infringement on two of Dr. Barry's patents, noting the "conduct was willful," Law 360 reports. Dr. Barry was awarded $15.1 million for one patent and $2.6 million for the other. Dr. Barry then filed for supplemental damages.

3. Medtronic argued Dr. Barry presented no "authority to support the supplemental damages he seeks," Law 360 reports. Additionally, the company claimed Dr. Barry should not receive prejudgment interest because his "calculation is flawed." Judge Clark disagreed, however.


4. The final judgment on the case requires Medtronic paying $17.7 million for two patent infringements, plus a 20 percent enhancement on both patents' damages and about $2.4 million in prejudgment interest.


5. During the November trial, Medtronic turned to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, arguing two of the patents were invalid. The company alleged Dr. Barry's patents didn't describe anything inventive, Law 360 reports. The board denied Medtronic's claims and the company appealed in the Federal Circuit.


Judge Clark also denied Medtronic's claims that Dr. Barry's U.S. patent numbers were invalid.


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