ANDOVER, Mass., June 11 Smith & Nephew, Inc.,Endoscopy Division, a subsidiary of Smith & Nephew plc (NYSE: SNN)(London Stock Exchange: SN) announced today that a jury in the United StatesDistrict Court in Oregon decided in Smith & Nephew's favor and foundprivately-held Arthrex Inc., (Naples, Fla.) guilty of willfully infringingU.S. Patent 5,601,557.
Smith & Nephew Endoscopy and Dr. John O. Hayhurst sued Arthrex over threeyears ago, claiming that Arthrex's Bio Suture Tak, PEEK Suture Tak and PushLock suture anchors infringed a U.S. patent owned by Dr. Hayhurst and underexclusive license to Smith & Nephew Endoscopy. The jury awarded Smith &Nephew $14.7 million for Arthrex's past infringement.
Smith & Nephew now plans to seek an injunction prohibiting Arthrex fromfurther manufacturing or selling the infringing devices in the United States.
"We are extremely pleased with the jury's decision," said Mike Frazzette,president, Smith & Nephew Endoscopy. "As the preferred provider of innovativearthroscopic tools and techniques to surgeons around the world, we standcommitted to protecting our intellectual property and the surgeons who workwith us to develop them."
The disputed patent covers Smith & Nephew Endoscopy's TAG(TM) WEDGE,TAG(TM) ROD, and BIORAPTOR(TM) Suture Anchors used primarily in surgicalrepair of the shoulder.
Dr. Hayhurst, who is a pioneer in the field of suture anchors, developedhis patented inventions over many years.
He has worked with Smith & Nephew and together they are responsible forbringing these inventions and products to market to benefit patients andsurgeons around the world.
"We are aware that other competitors may continue to profit from theinnovation we and our surgeon partners have developed, and we will take allappropriate measures to protect our IP," Frazzette said.
Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business, specialising inOrthopaedic Reconstruction, Orthopaedic Trauma and Clinical Therapies,Endoscopy and Advanced Wound Management products. Smith & Nephew is a globalleader in arthroscopy and advanced wound management and is one of the leadingglobal orthopaedics companies.
Smith & Nephew is dedicated to helping improve people's lives. TheCompany prides itself on the strength of its relationships with its surgeonsand professional healthcare customers, with whom its name is synonymous withhigh standards of performance, innovation and trust. The Company operates in32 countries around the world. Annual sales in 2007 were nearly $3.4 billion.
This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" withinthe meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Inparticular, statements regarding planned growth in our business and in ouroperating margins discussed under "Outlook" are forward-looking statements asare discussions of our product pipeline. These statements, as well as thephrases "aim", "plan", "intend", "anticipate", "well-placed", "believe","estimate", "expect", "target", "consider" and similar expressions, aregenerally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Suchforward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties andother important factors (including, but not limited to, the outcome oflitigation and regulatory approvals) that could cause the actual results,performance or achievements of Smith & Nephew, or industry results, to differmaterially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed orimplied by such forward-looking statements. Please refer to the documents thatSmith & Nephew has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissionunder the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including Smith &Nephew's most recent annual report on Form 20F, for a discussion of certain ofthese factors.