Healthcare Industry News: vertebral compression fractures
News Release - January 17, 2006
Medtronic Responds to Lawsuit Filed by Kyphon, Inc.MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Jan. 17, 2006--Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT ) today announced a lawsuit brought by Kyphon, Inc. and Dr. Harvinder Sandhu against Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc., Medtronic's Spinal business, and related entities. The complaint was filed Nov. 23, 2005 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. The complaint was unsealed on Jan. 17, 2006. In dispute are pending and issued Medtronic patents covering devices to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCF) of the spine. VCF of the spine are the most common types of fractures affecting the low back and are usually the result of a fall. Treatment for VCF is one of the fastest growing segments of the spinal market. Kyphon is currently the sole player in this market segment.
In the lengthy complaint, Kyphon and Dr. Sandhu claim Medtronic used the alleged invention and incorporated it into patents for future products in this market segment. Medtronic denies that it used Dr. Sandhu's alleged invention in its patent filings and product development and will vigorously defend that position.
"We believe this complaint is without merit," said Pete Wehrly, senior vice-president and president, Medtronic Spine and Navigation. "We believe patients benefit when there is competition in the marketplace and we will defend our right to be in this segment of the spine market. This complaint will not threaten Medtronic's current product availability or impede our business operations."
It is important to note that neither Kyphon nor Dr. Sandhu is making any claims of patent infringement in this case. In fact, Dr. Sandhu never received a patent from the U.S. Patent Office on his alleged invention. According to the complaint, Dr. Sandhu recently licensed his alleged invention to Kyphon, which has a financial interest in keeping others, including Medtronic, out of the market. Medtronic has not yet launched a system in this market segment.
About Medtronic Sofamor Danek
Medtronic Sofamor Danek, based in Memphis, Tenn., is the global leader in today's spine market and is committed to advancing the treatment of spinal disorders. Medtronic's Spinal business collaborates with world-renowned surgeons, researchers and innovative partners to offer state-of-the-art products and technologies for neurological and spinal conditions. Medtronic is committed to developing affordable, minimally invasive procedures that provide lifestyle friendly surgical therapies. More information about the company and its spinal treatments can be found at www.medtronicsofamordanek.com and its consumer sites, www.back.com, www.iscoliosis.com, www.maturespine.com and www.necksurgery.com.
Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended October 28, 2005. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.
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