FDAnews Device Daily Bulletin


April 18, 2006

Medtronic has announced that its vascular and spinal businesses have filed suit against Kyphon for patent infringement. The suit seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages, and was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

In its suit, Medtronic claims Kyphon is and has been directly and indirectly infringing on a minimum of four patents related to balloon dilatation catheters and spinal treatment: U.S. Patent No. 4,820,349, U.S. Patent No. 5,759,191, U.S. Patent No. 6,179,856 and U.S. Patent No. 6,096,038. The suit also asks for a declaratory judgment that five Kyphon patents are inapplicable to Medtronic's innovative new osteotome device that treats spinal disorders without the use of a balloon.

"We have completed a thoughtful and comprehensive review of the patents and as a result feel we have to take this action to stop Kyphon from benefiting from our intellectual property," said Pete Wehrly, senior vice president and president of Medtronic's spine and navigation business. "We are also seeking the declaratory judgment to set aside any concerns regarding any legal matters that could potentially interrupt our future business."