The High Court in Seoul, Korea, has found that the balloon kyphoplasty device made by Taeyeon Medical infringes a valid Medtronic patent and has ordered destruction of Taeyeon's stock of the infringing device and related manufacturing equipment.
Taeyeon brands impacted by the legal decision are Typhoon and Balex.
The product and manufacturing equipment destruction order was enforced on 12 October 2010 by bailiffs of the Korean court and Taeyeon is appealing the decision to the Korean Supreme Court.
Medtronic Kyphon Products Division vice president and general manager Alex DiNello said they are pleased by the High Court’s ruling and added that they have solid patents protecting their kyphoplasty products.
"We are committed to vigorously defending our intellectual property," DiNello said.
During the minimally invasive Kyphon Balloon Kyphoplasty procedure, a needle and tube are used to create a small pathway into the fractured bone, generally on both sides of the vertebral body.
Orthopedic balloons are inserted and then inflated inside the fractured bone in an attempt to reduce the fracture.
Inflation of the balloons creates cavities in the vertebral body that are filled with bone cement, forming an ‘internal cast’ to support the surrounding bone and stabilize the fracture.