District of Minnesota Agrees Wright Medical Waived Attorney-Client Privilege

December 28, 2016 — On December 23, 2016, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota granted Plaintiff Spineology, Inc.’s motion to compel production of documents that Defendant Wright Medical Technology, Inc. claimed were protected by attorney-client privilege.  Plaintiff claimed that Defendant waived privilege in defending against a willful infringement claim by testifying that Defendant relied on the advice of counsel regarding Plaintiff’s patent validity in developing the accused product.  The Court agreed with Plaintiff, as Defendant voluntarily disclosed the content of privileged communications during depositions and Defendant’s counsel “did not object to the salient question” of whether Defendant relied on the advice.  Here, Plaintiff was “not seeking disclosure of all material related to the advice of counsel, but ‘never communicated’ to the client.”

The patent-at-issue in this case is U.S. Patent No. RE42,757, entitled, “Expandable Reamer.”  The case is captioned Spineology Inc. v. Wright Medical Technology, Inc., 0-15-cv-00180.

By: Chika Seidel