A federal appeals court struck down a treble damage award to Stryker in its lawsuit against Zimmer Biomet for infringement of three patents associated with its pulsed lavage devices.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a jury’s findings on patent infringement, but it reversed the jury’s “exceptional” finding and vacated the treble damage award and attorney’s fees.
The appeals court was reconsidering the case after it was vacated and remanded in June by the U.S. Supreme Court, which rejected the Federal Circuit’s review framework for damage awards.
The case dates back to 2010, when Stryker charged that Zimmer’s Pulsavac Plus devices infringed various claims of three patents (329, 807 and 383). The U.S. District Court for Western Michigan ruled in favor of Stryker, finding infringement of patents 807 and 383.
The question of the third patent went to trial, and a jury awarded $70 million in lost profits and found that Zimmer willfully infringed all three patents.
In August 2013, the district court affirmed the jury’s verdict and awarded $70 million to Stryker in damages plus royalties.
The court also found the case “exceptional” and awarded attorney’s fees to Stryker and imposed a permanent injunction. The total award came to $228 million.
The Sept. 12 federal appeals court decision upheld the willfulness determination but said that it did not necessarily follow that the violations were exceptional. The court vacated and remanded the district court’s exceptional finding, and with it the treble damages award.