Doc wins $20M from Medtronic in spine patents spat

A doctor suing Medtronic last week won $20.3 million in damages after a federal jury in Texas found that the company infringed his patents covering spinal deformity repair devices.

Dr. Mark Barry sued Medtronic in February 2014 in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, alleging infringement of a trio of patents covering a “System and method for aligning vertebrae in the amelioration of aberrant spinal column deviation conditions.”

The 3rd patent was later dropped from the suit; Barry licenses the patents to Zimmer Biomet.

The case proceeded to trial Nov. 4; after a week in the courtroom the jury found for Barry, awarding nearly $15.1 million for infringement of 1 of the patents in the U.S., more than $2.6 million for U.S. infringement of the 2nd patent and another $2.6 million for infringement of that patent outside the U.S.

But it’s not over yet; a day before the trial concluded, Medtronic asked for judgment as a matter of law and asked Judge Ron Clark for an extra 2 days to file supporting briefs for the motion, according to court documents.

Earlier in the case, Barry lost a bid to have the U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania to subpoena Globus Medical for documents related to its competing Revere device, alleging that the discovery was relevant because Globus copied Barry’s system in developing the Revere device. But Judge Harvey Bartle III shot down that notion, finding that Barry “has not offered any factual basis for his allegation that Globus copied his patent.”