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United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) Rules in Smith & Nephew's Favor and Confirms Patent Claims Infringed by Arthrex Inc.

ANDOVER, Mass., March 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) overruled Arthrex's validity challenges to the claims of a medical device patent exclusively licensed to Smith & Nephew (NYSE: SNN; LSE: SN) by Dr. John O. Hayhurst of Portland, Ore.

As part of its attempt to overcome the jury's verdict against it, Arthrex initiated a standard re-examination proceeding with the USPTO to try to declare the patent invalid. The USPTO ruling confirms the validity of the claims of the patent that are infringed by Arthrex.

A jury determined last June that Arthrex Inc. (Naples, Fla.) willfully infringed this patent and awarded Smith & Nephew Endoscopy $14.7 million for infringement through the end of 2005. That amount was later increased by the Court for prejudgment interest and additional damages.

    Contact:    Joe Metzger
                Sr. Vice President, Corporate Communications
                Smith & Nephew Endoscopy
                (978) 749-1330

About Us

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business, specialising 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 $3.8 billion.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In particular, statements regarding planned growth in our business and in our operating 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 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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