Orthophoenix IP Licensing Co. Must Pay Medtronic’s $572k Fees In Stryker Case

Law360, New York (March 30, 2017, 6:44 PM EDT) — A federal judge has ordered Orthophoenix, a company founded by prominent patent licensing executive Erich Spangenberg, to pay more than $572,000 in legal fees incurred by Medtronic during a suit by Orthophoenix against Stryker over former Medtronic patents.
In a Tuesday decision that was unsealed on Thursday, Judge Leonard P. Stark of the District of Delaware ruled that the agreement settling the patent case requires Orthophoenix LLC to pay Medtronic Inc.’s fees, including the cost of responding to discovery requests by Stryker Corp. He rejected Orthophoenix’s arguments that it did not have to pay.

“Orthophoenix cites a number of reasons it contends it is not obligated to pay Medtronic’s legal fees. As discussed below, all are meritless,” the judge wrote. “Medtronic is entitled to receive all of its legal fees, plus interest.”

He awarded Medtronic $572,429.99 in fees, as well as prejudgment interest at a rate of six percent.

Orthophoenix was founded by Spangenberg, who was the subject of a New York Times profile in 2013 about the over 1,600 patent suits filed by his company, IP Navigation Group. Orthophoenix is now part of Marathon Patent Group, a patent licensing company where Spangenberg is director of acquisitions, licensing and strategy.

Orthophoenix purchased numerous patents on treating bone fractures and diseases from Medtronic in 2013. The purchase agreement included an indemnity provision stating Orthophoenix would indemnify Medtronic and pay its attorneys’ fees relating to the enforcement of the patents, according to the ruling.

Months later, Orthophoenix sued Stryker over the former Medtronic patents. Stryker responded by filing antitrust counterclaims against Orthophoenix and Medtronic and sought discovery from Medtronic.

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