Judge Delivers Opinion in Patient-Designed Technology Patent Dispute

An opinion ruled in favor of the accused defendants in a medical device patent case brought by Conformis, Inc. against Medacta USA, Inc. and Medacta International SA (collectively, Medacta) on Friday in the District of Delaware

The case was based on plaintiff Conformis’ second amended complaint. They alleged that Medacta infringed on their patents through their manufacture and marketing of their patient-specific technologies.

The plaintiff designs patient-specific instrument systems for knee and hip replacement surgery and explain that they have “made significant investments in the research, development, and testing” of the products that they market. They hold over 200 patents that are intended to protect their products.

Defendant Medacta designs patient-matched technology for knee replacement surgery, called MyKnee or MyKnee Implants, that compete with the plaintiff’s surgical products. The plaintiff asserted in the second amended complaint that these products infringed on four of the plaintiff’s existing patents.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, claiming that the second amended complaint failed to “state plausible claims for relief” under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Their motion of dismissal was based upon insufficient service of process, lack of personal jurisdiction, and failure to state a claim of direct and contributory infringement.

The decision, delivered by District Judge Richard G. Andrews, denied Medacta’s motions to dismiss on the grounds of insufficient service of process and lack of personal jurisdiction. Judge Andrews explained that the plaintiff’s service on Medacta was in compliance with the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and that the defendant’s work on their products in both Switzerland and the U.S. was “precisely the sort of purposeful activity directed towards the United States that fairly and reasonably subjects a defendant to jurisdiction in the United States.”

However, Judge Andrews granted Medacta’s failure to state a claim argument, reasoning that “nowhere does Conformis specifically allege infringing activity by Medacta International taking place in the United States.”

Conformis is represented in the litigation by Young Conway Stargatt & Taylor LLP. Medacta is represented by Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell, LLP, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.