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MedIdea, L.L.C. v. Depuy Orthopaedics, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

November 7, 2018

MEDIDEA, L.L.C., Plaintiff,
v.
DEPUY ORTHOPAEDICS, INC. et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON CLAIM CONSTRUCTION

          Leo T. Sorokin United States District Judge

         In this intellectual property dispute, MedIdea, L.L.C., alleges that DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., DePuy Synthes Products, Inc., and DePuy Synthes Sales, Inc. d/b/a DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction (collectively, “DePuy”) are directly and wilfully infringing its patents via the sale of Attune® knee replacement systems. The four patents-in-suit are: United States Patent Numbers 6, 558, 426 (“the '426 patent”), 8, 273, 132 (“the '132 patent”), 8, 721, 730 (“the '730 patent”), and 9, 492, 280 (“the '280 patent”). DePuy has counter-sued, seeking declarations of invalidity and non-infringement. Pending now are the parties' briefs on claim construction. The Court has reviewed all relevant submissions and held a hearing on October 25, 2018, pursuant to Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 517 U.S. 370 (1996), at which it heard oral argument and technology tutorials.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The parties dispute the proper construction of terms appearing in twelve claims disclosed in the four patents-in-suit. Each of the patents is entitled “Multiple-Cam, Posterior-Stabilized Knee Prosthesis, ” each names the same inventor (Dr. Michael A. Masini), and each shares a common specification.[1] See generally Doc. Nos. 92-2, 92-3, 92-4, 92-5.[2] The patents generally relate to total knee replacement (“TKR”) implants featuring cam-and-post designs. MedIdea is the assignee of Dr. Masini's patents, including the patents-in-suit. DePuy produces and sells TKR implants, including the Attune system, which is the accused product in this action. Doc. No. 26 ¶¶ 15, 17, 19, 26-29, 37, 48, 65, 79.

         The '426 patent, filed in 2000, endeavors “to facilitate a more normal rollback while inhibiting initial translation which could lead to increased wear and sub-optimal . . . mechanics” by incorporating “additional points of cam action” beyond what was provided by then-existing cam-and-post systems. Doc. No. 92-2 at 1. Claim 9 of the '426 patent discloses:

A distal femoral knee-replacement component configured for use with a tibial component . . ., the distal femoral component comprising:
a body having a pair of medial and lateral condylar protrusions and an intercondylar region therebetween dimensioned to receive the tibial post; and
a structure providing more than one physically separate and discontinuous points of cam action as the knee moves from extension to flexion.

Id. at 8 (emphasis added).

         The '132 patent, filed in 2003 as a divisional of the '426 patent, emphasizes the use of “interconnected structural elements such as cam extensions to prevent early translation of the knee or dislocation of the femoral component over the tibial post which can occur” in prior-art systems. Doc. No. 92-3 at 1. Four claims from this patent are at issue here, but independent claim 6 is representative, and it discloses:

A total knee replacement system comprising:
a tibial component having . . . a tibial post . . .;
a distal femoral component having an intercondylar region configured to receive the tibial post . . .; and
a member on the distal femoral component bridging the intercondylar region, the member including:
a first, convex cam surface that engages with the posterior surface of the tibial post following the onset of flexion, and
a cam extension with a second cam action surface that initially engages with the posterior surface of the tibial post beyond 90 degrees of flexion, to minimize dislocation over the tibial post; and
an intermediate surface portion between the first and second cam action surfaces that does not make contact with the tibial post.

Id. at 10 (emphasis added).

         The '730 patent, filed in 2008 as a continuation of the '132 patent, concerns the same “interconnected structural elements, ” or “cam extensions.” Doc. No. 92-4 at 1. Five claims are at issue, including dependent claim 18. That claim discloses a TKR system similar to the one described in claim 6 of the '132 patent (set forth above), except that the final clause does not include a “no contact” limitation, and it adds following requirement:

an additional cam extension with a cam action point projects distally toward a tibial articulating surface when the knee is in extension and contacts the posterior surface of the tibial post early after the initiation of flexion to minimize early translation of a femur relative to a tibia.

Id. at 10 (emphasis added).

         Finally, the '280 patent, filed in 2014 as a continuation of the '730 patent, focuses on the use of curved tibial posts and “cam mechanisms.” Doc. No. 92-5 at 1. Both of the patent's two claims are at issue. Independent claim 1 discloses:

A total knee replacement system, comprising:
a tibial component having a tibial post . . .;
a femoral component . . . including an intercondylar femoral cam mechanism configured to articulate with the posterior surface of the tibial post:
wherein a majority of the posterior surface of the tibial post is concave in a sagittal plane, defined as a vertical plane extending from front to back:
wherein the cam mechanism of the femoral component has a superior convex portion, a concave central portion, and an ...

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