Dr. Rick Sasso sues Medtronic over royalties for 2 spine surgery products in ongoing battle

Written by Angie Stewart | March 06, 2020 | Print  |

A royalties dispute between Medtronic and Carmel-based Indiana Spine Group founder Rick Sasso, MD, was returned to a state court March 4, The Indiana Lawyer reports.

Dr. Sasso alleges that Medtronic owes him royalties related to two spine surgery products he invented and licensed to the company in 1999 and 2001.

He first sued Medtronic for breach of agreements involving a screw delivery system and the Vertex Reconstruction System in 2013 and was awarded a $112 million verdict in November 2018.

In March 2019, Dr. Sasso filed another lawsuit requesting an audit to determine whether Medtronic should be required to pay royalties on continued sales of those products under the agreements.

Medtronic countersued, alleging that Dr. Sasso wasn't entitled to an audit or further royalties and requesting that the case be removed to federal court.

Indiana Northern District Judge Jon DeGuilio denied Medtronic's request for removal to federal court on the grounds that the case centers on contract interpretation rather than patent law.

However, the judge declined to award Dr. Sasso attorney fees, ruling that Medtronic's claims weren't objectively unreasonable.

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