Accumed v. Stryker (08-1124)
Accumed received U.S. Patent No. 5,472,444 (the ‘444 patent) for a nail used in the treatment of bone fractures. Accumed sued Stryker for infringement, won, and obtained a permanent injunction against Stryker.
On appeal before the Federal Circuit, Stryker claimed that the permanent injection was improper primarily because the district court: (1) failed to consider that Accumed had licensed the ‘444 patent to other companies; (2) relied on Accumed’s argument that a non-commercial straight nail depicted in a Stryker patent application was an acceptable and available alternative; and, (3) did not correctly consider whether the public interest would be disserved by a permanent injunction.
The Federal Circuit admitted that this was a close case. However, the district court’s decision was affirmed. In particular, there was no finding of an abuse of discretion by the district court under the standard of review for granting a permanent injunction.
The Federal Circuit found that the district court had considered Stryker’s arguments regarding why a permanent injection should not be granted. However, in its discretion, the district court issued the injunction and provided reasonable rationale for doing so. As a result, the Federal Circuit declined to overturn the district court’s decision.