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United States Patent Office Issues Decision in Re-examination Proceedings

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., July 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Smith & Nephew Inc.'s Advanced Wound Management division (LSE: SN; NYSE: SNN) announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Patent Office) has issued actions in re-examination proceedings involving three of the negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) patents licensed to Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (NYSE: KCI), confirming the patentability of the re-examined claims. The re-examination proceedings are still pending, and Smith & Nephew intends to pursue its appeal rights.

These actions from the Patent Office do not affect Smith & Nephew's ability to defend the pending U.S. district court lawsuit, and do not affect Smith & Nephew's ability to continue to sell any of its NPWT products in the U.S., including foam products.

"Smith and Nephew entered the NPWT marketplace to meet the clear demand for options that enable clinicians to use NPWT with their own best clinical judgment," said Tom Dugan, President, North America, Advanced Wound Management. "We have been confident in our IP position from the onset, and convinced that competition in this marketplace would bring value to customers and ultimately help physicians and their patients. Our position has been validated by courts in Germany and the United Kingdom, which revoked KCI's European counterpart patent in lawsuits KCI brought against Smith & Nephew in those countries, and we remain confident of our position as we approach pending litigation in the U.S. and Australia."

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 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.

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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