DePuy patent infringement penalty halved by Wisconsin court

Written by Eric Oliver | August 07, 2019 | Print  |

A Wisconsin federal judge reduced the award granted to Acantha in its patent suit against DePuy Synthes from $8.2 million to $4.3 million.

What you should know:

1. Acantha sued DePuy alleging the company copied portions of Acantha's orthopedic implant assembly in its Vectra and Zero-P VA products. After a seven-day trial, a jury voted in favor of Acantha, awarding the company $8.2 million for repeated acts of infringement on both products. The jury did not specify the exact instances of infringement.

2. After the jury's ruling, DePuy sought to have the judgment amended, while Acantha sought enhanced damages for other post-trial legal fees.

3. Chief District Judge William Griesbach of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Wisconsin considered both requests in his judgment. He ultimately ruled against the jury and reduced its award because of claims made by DePuy that Acantha's expert witness — listed only as "Dr. Sachs" — were inaccurate. Dr. Sachs' testimony related to the Zero-P VA product.

4. DePuy claimed that Dr. Sachs' testimony was "based on an improper understanding of the court's claim construction." Mr. Griesbach agreed that Dr. Sachs erroneously interpreted the court's claim construction and that his testimony should be disregarded.

Mr. Griesbach wrote, "Rather than base his construction of the anterior/posterior surface limitations on the proximity of the surfaces to the bone as construed by the court, Dr. Sachs based his construction and analysis on screw trajectory and the surfaces' relationship to the point where the screw enters the bone."

5. By ruling the testimony null as it related to the Zero-P VA products, Mr. Griesbach said there was "little evidence to support the jury's verdict." However, Mr. Griesbach did find the jury's ruling in relation to the Vectra products to be accurate, which resulted in the reduced ruling.

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