It’s not news that medgadgets are big business, but even we were surprised to see Medtronic plunk down $1.3 billion to resolve patent disputes over surgeon Gary Michelson’s orthopedic inventions. (One such medical device, the Horizon Eclipse for scoliosis, is pictured at right).
..Michelson has long had a contract with Medtronic to license many of his inventions. The legal battle began after he felt he wasn’t getting sufficient royalties from Medtronic’s booming sales of his products and sought to sell some of his products elsewhere. Medtronic sued him in 2001 for $820 million, and Michelson countersued for more than twice that amount. Last year a jury awarded him $510 million in the case, but the settlement announced Friday will replace the award.
What does he plan to do with all that cash?
…Michelson said Friday he is considering philanthropic alternatives for some of the $1.35 billion Medtronic Inc. plans to pay him to end a patent dispute.
“All you can really do with that kind of money is give it away. There’s no way you can spend it,” he said. “What I’m interested in doing is setting up a medical research foundation and seeing if we can’t make a difference in the world.”
That’s great news for medgadgets to come. But it’s curious that he felt $510 million wasn’t enough, but $1.3 billion is more than he can spend.
More at Medtronic…