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U.S. District Court Finds Arthrex, Inc. Guilty of Willfully Infringing Smith & Nephew Endoscopy (SNN) Patent; Jury Awards Smith & Nephew $14.7 Million in Damages


6/12/2008 6:50:37 AM

ANDOVER, Mass., June 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Smith & Nephew, Inc., Endoscopy Division, a subsidiary of Smith & Nephew plc (NYSE: SNN - News; London Stock Exchange: SN - News) announced today that a jury in the United States District Court in Oregon decided in Smith & Nephew's favor and found privately-held Arthrex Inc., (Naples, Fla.) guilty of willfully infringing U.S. Patent 5,601,557.

Smith & Nephew Endoscopy and Dr. John O. Hayhurst sued Arthrex over three years ago, claiming that Arthrex's Bio Suture Tak, PEEK Suture Tak and Push Lock suture anchors infringed a U.S. patent owned by Dr. Hayhurst and under exclusive license to Smith & Nephew Endoscopy. The jury awarded Smith & Nephew $14.7 million for Arthrex's past infringement.

Smith & Nephew now plans to seek an injunction prohibiting Arthrex from further manufacturing or selling the infringing devices in the United States.

"We are extremely pleased with the jury's decision," said Mike Frazzette, president, Smith & Nephew Endoscopy. "As the preferred provider of innovative arthroscopic tools and techniques to surgeons around the world, we stand committed to protecting our intellectual property and the surgeons who work with us to develop them."

The disputed patent covers Smith & Nephew Endoscopy's TAG(TM) WEDGE, TAG(TM) ROD, and BIORAPTOR(TM) Suture Anchors used primarily in surgical repair of the shoulder.

Dr. Hayhurst, who is a pioneer in the field of suture anchors, developed his patented inventions over many years.

He has worked with Smith & Nephew and together they are responsible for bringing these inventions and products to market to benefit patients and surgeons around the world.

"We are aware that other competitors may continue to profit from the innovation we and our surgeon partners have developed, and we will take all appropriate measures to protect our IP," Frazzette said.

Contact: Joe Metzger Vice President, Corporate Communications Smith & Nephew Endoscopy (978) 273-5187 joe.metzger@smith-nephew.com

About Us

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business, specialising in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Orthopaedic Trauma and Clinical Therapies, Endoscopy and Advanced Wound Management products. Smith & Nephew is a global leader in arthroscopy and advanced wound management and is one of the leading global orthopaedics companies.

Smith & Nephew is dedicated to helping improve people's lives. The Company prides itself on the strength of its relationships with its surgeons and professional healthcare customers, with whom its name is synonymous with high standards of performance, innovation and trust. The Company operates in 32 countries around the world. Annual sales in 2007 were nearly $3.4 billion.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In particular, statements regarding planned growth in our business and in our operating margins discussed under "Outlook" are forward-looking statements as are discussions of our product pipeline. These statements, as well as the phrases "aim", "plan", "intend", "anticipate", "well-placed", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "target", "consider" and similar expressions, are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors (including, but not limited to, the outcome of litigation and regulatory approvals) that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Smith & Nephew, or industry results, to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Please refer to the documents that Smith & Nephew has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including Smith & Nephew's most recent annual report on Form 20F, for a discussion of certain of these factors.

All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Smith & Nephew as of the date hereof. All written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to Smith & Nephew or any person acting on behalf of Smith & Nephew are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing. Smith & Nephew does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Smith & Nephew's expectation with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Source: Smith & Nephew


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