Medtronic Inc. said on Friday that it would pay $550 million to settle the lawsuit and another $800 million to acquire the patents of Dr. Gary K. Michelson, and his company, Karlin Technology. Dr. Michelson said that when he invents, he works nights and weekends at his kitchen table or in his garage.
Michael DeMane, president of Sofamor Danek, Medtronic's spinal business, reportedly said the company has spent $25 million to $30 million over the last several years in legal costs associated with these patents.
Dr. Rick Sasso, a spinal surgeon from Indianapolis, said he did not think that Dr. Michelson's ideas were all totally original, but that he was very adept at getting patents. "He didn't make any of those things," Dr. Sasso reportedly told the New York Times. "He didn't manufacture. He got some ideas and wrote them on a piece of paper and filed them with the patent office."
"I am very happy," Michelson reportedly said of the settlement. "I am looking forward to working with Medtronic to see how many of the devices we can develop to help patients."