A federal appeals court today overturned the enhanced damages and attorney fees awarded in Stryker‘s (NYSE:SYK) $70 million patent infringement win over Zimmer Biomet (NYSE:ZBH), but upheld its prior ruling that patents were valid and infringed.
The case was sent back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in June, when the Supreme Court held that the standard for enhanced damages awards in patent infringement cases should be relaxed. The case dates back to December 2010, when Stryker sued orthopedics rival Zimmer, alleging infringement of 3 patents covering wound debridement technology by Zimmer’s Pulsavac Plus device.
In February 2013 a jury in the U.S. District Court for Western Michigan awarded $70 million to Stryker in damages plus royalties, ruling that Zimmer infringed all 3 patents claimed in the suit. Judge Robert Jonker trebled the damages in August of that year, ruling that the infringement was willful, ordering a permanent injunction and granting Stryker’s bid for lost profit damages for another nearly $2.4 million. The judge also granted Stryker’s motion for prejudgment interest, awarding nearly $11.2 million, plus reasonable attorney’s fees and additional prejudgment interest on those fees at a rate of 3.83%.