Conformis Continues Litigations Against Patient-Specific Medical Technologies

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On June 3, 2021, Conformis continued its patent enforcement efforts involving patient-specific technologies by filing suit against Bodyhub and Exactech in the Middle District of Florida.

In a first complaint, filed against Exactech, Conformis accused Exactech’s Vantage® Total Ankle System of infringing U.S. Patent Nos. 8,460,304, 9,295,482, 8,623,026, 9,326,780, and 9,186,161.  According to the complaint, the infringing products include 3D-printed tibia and talar cutting guides and the associated ankle implants.

In a second complaint, filed against both Bodycad and Exactech, Conformis accused the two companies of infringing U.S. Patent Nos. 8,974,539, 9,387,079, 7,799,077, 8,077,950, 8,638,998, and 9,180,015.  The accused products include Bodycad’s Reflex UniTM unicondylar knee replacement and software, for replacing a single compartment of an arthritic knee, and Bodycad’s Fine OsteotomyTM patient-specific surgical guide and plate, for a knee osteotomy procedure where either the tibia or femur is cut and then reshaped to relieve pressure on the knee joint.  According to an exclusive distribution agreement announced November 24,  2020, Exactech will be the U.S. distributor for Bodycad’s Reflex Uni system under the name Truliant Reflex Uni, with limited market availability in early 2021 and a full release by the end of 2021.

These two lawsuits continue Conformis’s history of enforcing patents from its portfolio of over 200 issued patents.  U.S. Patent Nos. 8,460,304, 9,295,482, 8,623,026, 9,326,780, and 9,186,161, from the first complaint against Exactech, have been asserted by Conformis in prior litigations, but U.S. Patent Nos. 8,974,539, 9,387,079, 7,799,077, 8,077,950, 8,638,998, and 9,180,015, from the second complaint against Bodycad and Exactech, are being asserted for the first time.  These newly asserted patents include claims directed to patient-specific implants, which differ from patents asserted in prior suits which included claims directed to systems comprising patient-specific instruments and off-the-shelf implants.

The prior litigations include cases filed against large orthopedic companies such as Depuy Synthes, Wright Medical Technology, Medacta, Smith + Nephew and Zimmer Biomet.  The litigations against Depuy Synthes, Wright Medical Technology and Medacta are active, while the litigations against Smith + Nephew and Zimmer Biomet were settled according to press releases issued on September 17, 2018 and May 28, 2020.  Several of the Conformis patents have also been challenged in inter partes review proceedings before the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

For more information, please contact the authors Christy Lea and Sabing Lee.

 

 

Christy Lea
Christy has represented medical device companies in appeals before the Federal Circuit for well over a decade. Christy co-authored the chapter on the Federal Circuit in the National Courts book published by West's Federal Forms. She has previously been recognized as one of the Top 10 Life Science Litigators in the United States by Managing IP magazine and has repeatedly been named a Life Science Star by LMG Life Sciences publication.
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Sabing Lee
Sabing H. Lee's practice includes strategic patent procurement, patent portfolio management, intellectual property due diligence and general counseling on infringement, licensing, international IP protection and post-grant proceedings. Sabing currently represents clients in a wide range of technologies, with an emphasis on medical devices and procedures and materials science. In the medical device field, Sabing has worked extensively with cardiovascular, orthopedic, wound care and aesthetic technologies. He has been involved in the intellectual property strategy and acquisitions of PercuSurge, Inc. (acquired by Medtronic, Inc.), Flex-Foot, Inc. (acquired by Össur hf.), Endius, Inc. (acquired by Zimmer Holdings, Inc.), ev3 Inc. (acquired by Covidien), IDev Technologies, Inc. (acquired by Abbott), and Tornier NV (merged with Wright Medical Group, Inc.), and CardiAQ Valve Technologies, Inc. (acquired by Edwards Lifesciences Corporation). Sabing currently serves on the Board of Directors for OCTANe, an organization that drives technology industry growth and innovation in Orange County by connecting ideas and people with resources and capital. From 2013-2017, Sabing has been recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer in Intellectual Property by Super Lawyers magazine. He received Star recognition in the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions of LMG Life Sciences, published by Managing Intellectual Property. Sabing was named to the Daily Journal's list of the Top Intellectual Property Attorneys of 2014, where he was recognized among the Top 25 Portfolio Managers & Patent Prosecutors of Intellectual Property. His accomplishments are detailed in the Awards & Honors section. Sabing joined the firm in 1997 and became a partner in 2003.
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