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Rival Files Antitrust Claim Against Medtronic

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Carefusion, which makes a minimally invasive treatment for vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis, claims medical device giant Medtronic violated antitrust laws and asserted invalid patents to try to drive it from the market.

Carefusion sued Medtronic in a giant, 619-page complaint in Federal Court.

Carefusion claims it developed a surgical procedure called "vertebroplasty" to treat spinal fractures. Vertebroplasty uses "bone paste" to harden the fractured area of the spine.

Carefusion claims Medtronic altered the procedure by inserting a balloon into the spine to reduce the "void" created by injecting the bone paste, and called it "kyphoplasty," then obtained invalid patents and asserted publicly that it had developed its product first.

Carefusion claims Medtronic schemed to kill competition by acquiring patents from third parties and enticing doctors and hospitals to pay inflated prices for its kyphoplasty product. It claims Medtronic also threatened to assert its invalid patents to drive competitors from the market.

Carefusion demands damages for antitrust violations, and wants Medtronic's patents declared invalid. It is represented by Claude Stern with Quinn Emanuel of Redwood Shores, Calif.

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