J&J Takeover Target Synthes Sues Globus Medical Over Spine Implant Patents

Synthes Inc. (SYST), being bought by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) for $21.3 billion, sued a competing maker of spinal-repair products, Globus Medical Inc., alleging infringement of three U.S. patents.

Synthes, a Swiss company based in West Chester, Pennsylvania, contends Globus’ Independence, Coalition and InterContinental Plate-spacer systems are using the protected technology.

The company “has suffered and will continue to suffer damages and irreparable injuries” unless a court stops the Globus infringement, Synthes lawyers said in papers filed July 22 in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Globus is based in Audubon, Pennsylvania.

Johnson & Johnson agreed in April to buy Synthes in the biggest purchase of the company’s 125-year history, to become the leader in the $5.5 billion market for devices that treat trauma victims.

Synthes has 50 percent of the market for sales of screws, plates, bone grafts and other products to treat skeletal damage, according to Navid Malik, an analyst with Matrix Corporate Capital LLP.

Edward Joyce, a spokesman for Globus, didn’t immediately return voice and e-mail messages seeking comment on the suit.

The case is Synthes USA v. Globus Medical Inc., 11-cv-652, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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