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Smith & Nephew Encouraged by United Kingdom NPWT Patent Court Decision

HULL, England, May 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Smith & Nephew's Advanced Wound Management business (LSE: SN; NYSE: SNN) announces that the Patents Court, in the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, has ruled as invalid 7 out of the 10 claims asserted against Smith & Nephew of the Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) patent EP 0620720, that is licensed to Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (KCI) (NYSE: KCI). The 3 other claims asserted in the patent remain in effect in the United Kingdom. The decision is subject to appeal and Smith & Nephew will be pursuing its appeal to invalidate those three claims as a matter of urgency.

Smith & Nephew is pleased that this judgement has invalidated the main claim of the EP 0620720 patent. This complements the German decision of March 2009 where at the Federal Munich Patent Court the court ruled (subject to appeal) that all claims of the patent are invalid.

"We will continue to serve the United Kingdom NPWT market and offer the new RENASYS(TM) EZ, RENASYS(TM) GO and RENASYS(TM)- G (gauze) NPWT products. Smith & Nephew remains committed to our strategy to ensure that clinicians have a range of treatment options. This ruling has no impact on Smith & Nephew's ability to sell gauze-based NPWT systems, and we will continue our efforts to ensure that clinicians have options in NPWT. We intend to pursue the remaining asserted claims as a matter of urgency," said Robin Carlstein, Senior Vice President of Advanced Wound Devices at Smith & Nephew.

    Investors & Analysts
    Liz Hewitt                   +44 (0)20 7401 7646
    Group Director Corporate Affairs
    Smith & Nephew

    Robin Carlstein              +1 727 399 3746
    Senior Vice President Advanced Wound Devices Smith & Nephew

About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business, specializing in Orthopaedics, 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 orthopaedics 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.

(TM) Trademark of Smith & Nephew. Certain marks registered US Patent and Trademark Office.

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
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