Judge nixes Medtronic, NuVasive motions in patent infringement case

A federal judge in California dealt blows to both sides in a patent infringement dispute over spinal implant technology between several Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) subsidiaries and NuVasive Inc. (NSDQ:NUVA).

Judge Michael Anello of the U.S. District Court for Southern California “tentatively” denied Medtronic’s move for summary judgment “on the ground that there are no genuine issues as to any material fact,” according to court documents.

Anello also shot down with prejudice NuVasive’s rival summary judgment motion asking him to rule one of the patents invalid, that the company didn’t infringe two others and that one co-plaintiff, Warsaw Orthopedic Inc., isn’t entitled to lost profit damages.

Warsaw Orthopedic, Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA Inc., Medtronic Puerto Rico Operations Co. and Medtronic Sofamor Danek Deggendorf GmbH sued NuVasive in 2008, accusing the San Diego-based company of infringing 12 patents relating to spinal implants that Fridley, Minn.-based Medtronic licenses from Warsaw.

Anello’s twin rulings mean the case will go on.

TomoTherapy settles shareholder’s lawsuit for $275,000

TomoTherapy Inc. (NSDQ:TOMO), which is in the process of being integrated into Accuray Inc. (NSDQ:ARAY) after a nearly $300 million buyout, settled a shareholders lawsuit for $275,000 in legal fees and a promise to change its corporate governance structure.

The lawsuit alleged that TomoTherapy and its management misled investors about how much business the company had in its backlog. TomoTherapy lowered its guidance for fiscal 2008 in April of the year, causing its stock price to plunge 32 percent that day, according to a regulatory filing.

The settlement deal calls for the company to pay $275,000 worth of the plaintiff’s legal fees, $25,000 from its own coffers and $250,000 from an insurance policy.

Interestingly, Accuray recently settled a similar case of its own, agreeing to pay $800,000 to put that lawsuit to bed.

The suit, filed in July 2009, accused the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company’s management of concealing “material information concerning the quality and realistic likelihood of fulfillment of contracts in Accuray’s ‘backlog,’ a figure representing the direct revenue that Accuray expects to receive from the sale and servicing of the CyberKnife system.”

During the last three quarters of fiscal 2008 the company removed about $127 million in backlog, according to the lawsuit, allegedly in violation of federal securities laws.

Although the company agreed to settle the case, it continues to deny any culpability, according tofilings with the federal Securities & Exchange Commission.




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Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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