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United States Patent Office Rejects KCI's Patents
Date:2/19/2009

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Smith & Nephew's Advanced Wound Management division (LSE: SN; NYSE: SNN) announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Patent Office) has rejected as unpatentable three of KCI's negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) patents during re-examination of the patents at Smith & Nephew's request. The Patent Office found that prior art showed that almost all of the re-examined claims are not patentable, including the claims that require foam.

The Patent Office has granted KCI two months to respond to its decision. Smith & Nephew will have the opportunity to reply to KCI's response on one of the patents before the Patent Office issues its final decision.

"A positive final outcome in these re-examinations would clear the legal path for Smith & Nephew to continue providing wound care professionals with options for NPWT," said Robin Carlstein, Senior Vice President of Advanced Wound Devices at Smith & Nephew. "Clearly, we are pleased with the Patent Office's findings in this matter thus far, and look forward to its resolution."

For more information regarding Smith & Nephew, please visit our Web site at www.smith-nephew.com

About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business, specializing in Orthopedics, 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 orthopedics 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.

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

    Other Inquiries
    Tom Dugan +1 727 399 3743
    President, North America
    Smith & Nephew Advanced Wound Management


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SOURCE Smith & Nephew
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