Smith & Nephew Plc, Europe’s largest maker of shoulder and knee implants, was awarded $4.7 million in a patent-infringement trial against smaller rival Arthrex Inc. over a device to fix a graft to a bone.
Arthrex said in a statement it will appeal the Feb. 12 jury decision and is “confident the verdict will be overturned on appeal.” It said it doesn’t expect the verdict will interrupt sales of its RetroButton ACL graft fixation product. Smith & Nephew said it will seek a court order to halt sales of some devices.
The dispute is over the attachment of the grafts used to replace the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, in the knee that connects the femur bone in the thigh with the tibia bone in the shin. It’s one of the most commonly injured ligaments during athletic activity. The grafts are ligaments taken from other parts of the body, typically the hamstring, patella or Achilles region, said Smith & Nephew spokesman Joe Metzger.
“Smith & Nephew has a long and proud history of providing medical devices that help surgeons to deliver positive patient outcomes,” Mike Frazzette, president of Smith & Nephew Endoscopy, said in a statement. “As a result, we will vigorously protect our intellectual property rights against Arthrex and other companies that infringe our patents.”