N.D. Ga.

It’s Hip to Bring Suit – Patented Technology for Removing Failed Total Hip Replacements at Issue in Declaratory Judgment in the Northern District

Simplex Designs, LLC v. TightLine Development, LLC, Civil Action No. 1:23-cv-01721-SEG (N.D. Ga., Apr. 17, 2023)

Simplex Designs, LLC, seeks a declaratory judgment to show that its medical technology does not infringe. The Plaintiff wants a declaration that its “Watson Extraction System” does not infringe any claim of TightLine’s United States Patent No. 10,751,070. In addition, Simplex seeks judgment as to its allegation that TightLine violated Georgia’s Bad Faith Assertions of Patent Infringement (O.C.G.A. § 10-1-770 et seq.) and other business torts.

According to the Complaint, Simplex violated Georgia’s Bad Faith Assertions of Patent in developing the Watson Extraction System for use in hip revision surgeries. As the Complaint explains, many of the 450,000 total hip replacements performed in the United States will fail in time. Hip revision surgeries attempt to remove and replace failed implants. Watson is a bone conserving technology designed to improve user application and surgical outcomes in hip revisions and is covered by Simplex’s own U.S. Patent No. 11,191,651, entitled “Implant Removal Tool.”

The patent at issue is DJ Defendant TightLine’s ’070 Patent, entitled “Femoral Hip Stem Explant System and Methods of Using the Same.” The technology covered by the ’070 Patent is used in hip surgeries, and, according to the Complaint, is not infringed by Watson.  Simplex asserts the Watson system does not include every feature of Independent Claims 1, 8, and 19, and thus has not and does not infringe any claim of the patent.

In addition, Simplex alleges TightLine’s infringement accusations have “cast uncertainty” and injured their business. Complaint at 2. As such, Simplex alleges various business torts against TightLine, including violations of Georgia’s Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Bad Faith Patent Assertion Act, and Tortious Interference with Business Relations.

The case has been assigned to Judge Sarah Geraghty.

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