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DOCTOR WILL GET $1.35 BILLION

Orthopedic surgeon Gary Michelson said Friday he is considering philanthropic alternatives for some of the $1.35 billion Medtronic Inc. plans to pay him to end a patent dispute.

"All you can really do with that kind of money is give it away. There's no way you can spend it," he said. "What I'm interested in doing is setting up a medical research foundation and seeing if we can't make a difference in the world."

The 56-year-old Los Angeles doctor has pioneered some of the most popular technology used in spinal surgery today, as well as more commonplace gadgets. He's patented a new paper clip and is still perfecting a lid that would eliminate the task of scraping dog food out of a can.

Under the settlement, which has yet to be finalized, Medtronic would pay $800 million for spinal-fusion technology, as well as another $550 million to settle the legal claims.

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