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What: Shares of medical device developer NuVasive (Nasdaq: NUVA) were getting hammered by investors today, falling as much as 12% in intraday trading after the company lost a court case.

So what: A San Diego jury awarded Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) $101 million in damages, after it concluded that NuVasive spinal products infringed on Medtronic patents. One Medtronic lawyer indicated that the jury award only covers the period through June 2010 and that the company will file a motion to bring the award up to date.

Now what: For a company the size of NuVasive, a $101 million judgment is no small matter. However, the company had more than $500 million in cash and equivalents on its balance sheet as of June 30. The bigger question for the company will be what this means for the future, as it will either have to either stop selling the infringing product or pay Medtronic for use of the technology. NuVasive has said that it will challenge the decision, but investors might want to consider what the future looks like if the current verdict holds.

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