Federal Judge Reaffirms Zimmer Must Pay More Than $248 Million to Stryker for Willful Infringement
Stryker represented by all-female McAndrews team in case that sets the standard for determining enhanced damages
Chicago, July 31, 2017 – On July 12, 2017, a federal judge reaffirmed that Zimmer Inc. must pay more than $248 million to Stryker for the willful infringement of three of its pulsed lavage patents, calling it “a case of egregious piracy.” This long-running case was sent back to the Western District of Michigan for reconsideration after the Supreme Court’s June 2016 decision found the Federal Circuit’s test for awarding damages “up to three times the amount found or assessed” was overly rigid and not justified under the Patent Act.
Applying the new standard, Judge Robert J. Jonker wrote in the order that “Zimmer is precisely the type of egregious infringer the Supreme Court had in mind when it relaxed the…standard to provide district courts with the freedom to exercise their discretion to enhance damages in cases of willful infringement.” The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Stryker v Zimmer and Halo v Pulse Electronics cases has made it easier for patent holders to collect additional money when their inventions are copied without permission.
In August 2013, Stryker was awarded over $248 million following a jury’s $70 million verdict that Zimmer willfully infringed three patents related to pulsed lavage irrigation systems. At the time, the jury verdict was listed as the fifth largest IP verdict. In October 2015, the Supreme Court granted McAndrews’ petition for writ of certiorari on behalf of Stryker to consider the legal standard for enhancing damages in patent infringement cases.
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