Zimmer Biomet & Stryker battle over $248M patent infringement lawsuit: 5 things to know

Spinal Tech

Stryker and Zimmer Biomet are heading back to the federal appeals court over the scope of damages awarded in an eight-year long patent infringement case, according to Bloomberg Law.

Here are five things to know:

1. In December 2010, Stryker sued Zimmer Biomet for allegedly infringing on patents for Stryker's pulsed lavage devices. A jury found Zimmer Biomet infringed on three patents in 2013. Because Zimmer Biomet was found to have willfully infringed, the court awarded Stryker triple the amount in damages and attorneys' fees.

2. Zimmer Biomet was ordered to pay Stryker $248.7 million. However, Zimmer Biomet is arguing the ordered payment is out of proportion to the scope of the infringement. Zimmer Biomet has already paid Stryker $90.2 million.

3. The $248.7 million award is considered one of the largest awards in a patent infringement case. Patent litigators and experts are divided on whether or not Zimmer Biomet will be able to overturn the ruling.

4. According to intellectual property attorney Paul Ainsworth and law professor Timothy Holbrook, the chances the appeals court overturns the ruling are slim. "I'm not sure that the Federal Circuit is going to delve that deeply into the district court's analysis as it's discretionary," Mr. Ainsworth told Bloomberg Law.

5. One the flip side, Michael Hawes, an intellectual property partner, indicated Zimmer Biomet may be able to reduce its obligated payments. "Zimmer is making the argument you have to look at the egregiousness of the conduct from the point of view of when it happened," Mr. Hawes told Bloomberg Law.

Oral arguments for the case began Dec. 3.

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