The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit last December upheld treble damages in the case, based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision in Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics that relaxed the standard for enhanced damage awards in patent infringement cases. Zimmer Biomet appealed that per curiam decision, asking for both a three-judge panel and the full Federal Circuit bench to re-evaluate the case. The court denied both petitions March 19, setting March 26 as the date for issuing the mandate of the court.
The case dates back to December 2010, when Stryker sued Zimmer the U.S. District Court for Western Michigan, alleging infringement of three patents covering wound debridement technology by Zimmer’s Pulsavac Plus device. In February 2013 a jury awarded $70 million to Stryker; Judge Robert Jonker trebled the damages in August of that year.
The Federal Circuit in 2014 rolled back that $228 million ruling, finding that Stryker failed to prove willful infringement. Stryker appealed to the Supreme Court, which vacated the appeals court’s ruling and ordered it to reconsider the case. The Supremes found that the Federal Circuit’s test was too rigid and allowed egregious infringers to evade liability.
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