A federal jury hit DePuy Synthes with a $20 million verdict payable to a surgeon who said the Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) orthopedic unit stole his patented technology.
The surgeon, Dr. Gary Lynn Rasmussen of Utah, invented a device for aligning and positioning the prosthesis in knee replacement procedures, according to court records. He applied for patent protection and pitched the device to DePuy over the following years, including demonstrations, but could not convince them to license the technology.
Rasmussen, represented by lawyers at Fish & Richardson, sued in 2020, saying DePuy’s Attune Knee System included a product called a Balanced Sizer for adjusting the tension of ligaments in a knee joint to position and fit the prosthesis, in violation of his patents.
DePuy, represented by lawyers at Jones Day, denied wrongdoing.
Following trial, a jury decided yesterday that DePuy willfully violated one of the two patents with its Balanced Sizer product and said $20 million would adequately compensate the surgeon.
“While we are pleased that the jury found that the Balanced Sizer and Balancing Blocks do not willfully infringe the ‘583 patent, we respectfully disagree with their findings regarding the Balanced Sizer and ‘180 patent and we will be seeking post-trial relief from the trial court immediately and, if necessary, we will file an appeal,” DePuy said in a statement to Medical Design & Outsourcing today.
The case is No. 1:20-CV-11807-WGY in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts’ Eastern Division.