Surgeon wins $20M jury verdict against DePuy Synthes for Infringement of Knee Prosthesis Patents

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Rasmussen Instruments, LLC (“Rasmussen”) won a $20M jury verdict against DePuy Synthes (“Depuy”), a part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies. Rasmussen asserted Patent Nos. US 9,492,180 (‘180 patent) and US 10,517,583 (‘583 patent), both titled “Arthroplasty systems and methods for optimally aligning and tensioning a knee prosthesis,” against DePuy’s “Balanced Sizer” product for its Attune® Knee System

According to the complaint filed in 2020, Dr. G. Lynn Rasmussen is an orthopedic surgeon based in Murray, Utah, with over 40 years of experience in reconstructive orthopedic surgery and is the sole member and owner of Rasmussen.  Both the ‘180 patent and ‘583 patent claim priority to a provisional application filed in 2005 by Dr. Rasmussen.  The complaint alleges that the ‘180 patent and ‘583 patent “describe and claim . . . a device for maintaining the tension in the ligaments of a knee joint and/or adjusting the alignment of a knee joint during knee replacement surgery.” 

According to the complaint, from 2012 to 2014, Dr. Rasmussen discussed licensing the patented technology with DePuy, but after the negotiations broke down, Rasmussen initiated litigation against DePuy.  After a trial in March of 2022, the jury decided that DePuy’s “Balanced Sizer” product infringed the ‘180 patent but did not infringe the ‘583 patent. The jury also decided that DePuy’s infringement of the ‘183 patent was willful and that Rasmussen’s damages were therefore $20 million.  The jury also held that the ‘180 patent and the ‘583 patent were not invalid.

The case is No. 1:20-CV-11807-WGY in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Eastern Division.  

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Alexander Slafkosky
Alex Slafkosky provides strategic patent preparation and prosecution counseling to his clients. Alex enjoys leading IP ideation sessions and drafting detailed applications protecting core concepts for products and R&D. Alex also has extensive experience managing global portfolios of U.S. patent applications and corresponding foreign patent applications. Before joining Knobbe, Alex was an attorney with a DC-based patent law firm. While there, Alex specialized in the preparation and prosecution of patent applications in a wide range of technology, including applications for a Fortune 100 bank (e.g., machine learning, neural networks, vehicle search, POS transaction management, and a shopping assistant), a Fortune 100 aerospace company (e.g., connected aircraft, aircraft pilot GUIs, blockchain, IoT, SaaS, and cloud infrastructure), and a publicly-traded business intelligence company (e.g., data analytics and mobile GUIs). Before law school, Alex was a student at the University of Maryland, College Park. While at College Park, Alex studied aerospace engineering, with a specific focus on space systems. Alex also competed on competitive engineering teams, where he designed satellite communications infrastructure and built a Martian rover with a robotic arm. Lastly, Alex also was a member of the University of Maryland Varsity Lacrosse team.
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