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German Federal Patent Court Invalidates Wake Forest NPWT Patents Licensed to KCI

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Smith & Nephew Inc.'s Advanced Wound Management division (LSE: SN; NYSE: SNN) announced that the German Federal Patent Court in Munich has held the Wake Forest patent for negative pressure (NPWT) licensed to Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (NYSE: KCI) invalid in Germany.

"Having cleared this legal hurdle in Germany ensures our ability to provide patients with the optimal care and clinicians with choice when utilizing NPWT," said Robin Carlstein, Senior Vice President of Advanced Wound Devices at Smith & Nephew. "Smith & Nephew takes intellectual property rights seriously and considers such issues carefully before any new product launches. We are extremely pleased with the German Federal Court's decision."

Smith & Nephew and KCI have been engaged in litigation in the US in connection with KCI's NPWT patents. As part of the U.S. legal process, three of KCI's U.S. patents relating to NPWT stand rejected as unpatentable by the U.S. Patent Office.

For more information regarding Smith & Nephew, please visit our Web site at

About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business, specializing in Orthopeadics, including Reconstruction, Trauma and Clinical Therapies, Endoscopy and Advanced Wound Management. Smith & Nephew is a global leader in arthroscopy and advanced wound management and is one of the leading global orthopeadics companies.

Smith & Nephew is dedicated to helping improve people's lives. The Company prides itself on the strength of its relationships with its surgeons and professional healthcare customers, with whom its name is synonymous with high standards of performance, innovation and trust. The Company operates in 32 countries around the world. Annual sales in 2008 were nearly $3.8 billion.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In particular, statements regarding expected revenue growth and trading margins discussed under "Outlook" are forward-looking statements as are discussions of our product pipeline. These statements, as well as the phrases "aim", "plan", "intend", "anticipate", "well-placed", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "target", "consider" and similar expressions, are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors (including, but not limited to, the outcome of litigation, claims and regulatory approvals) that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Smith & Nephew, or industry results, to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Please refer to the documents that Smith & Nephew has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including Smith & Nephew's most recent annual report on Form 20F, for a discussion of certain of these factors.

All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Smith & Nephew as of the date hereof. All written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to Smith & Nephew or any person acting on behalf of Smith & Nephew are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing. Smith & Nephew does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Smith & Nephew's expectation with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

SOURCE Smith & Nephew Inc.
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