Michelson is most known for the $1.35 billion settlement he received from medical device maker, Medtronic (Sofamor Danek), in 2005. He spent years in litigation over his patents before the settlement was reached.
The dispute grew out of disagreements over obligations under contracts in the early 1990’s covering the licensing of Dr. Michelson’s inventions to Sofamor Danek, a company in Memphis.
Dr. Gary K. Michelson developed procedures that could provide pain relief to patients with relatively non-invasive surgery. The inventions included surgical technologies as well as techniques for spinal regeneration.
The products at the center of the dispute were invented by Michelson to simplify basic spinal surgery, in which a damaged disk is removed and the adjacent vertebrae are fused together.
The devices help patients recover more quickly and spend less time in the hospital.