- Conformis has sued Zimmer Biomet, accusing the orthopaedic device giant of infringing four of its patents by making and selling certain knee, shoulder and hip replacement products.
- A complaint filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware alleges Zimmer Biomet systems infringe on patient-specific instrument systems and techniques for joint replacement surgery that result in a more precisely placed implant.
- Conformis said it has suffered economic harm as a result of the alleged patent infringement and is seeking triple damages for lost profits and a "reasonable" royalty for its claim of willful infringement, as well as attorneys' fees and related costs.
The hip and knee replacement market is dominated by medtech giants including Stryker, Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Synthes, Zimmer Biomet, and Smith & Nephew. Conformis is looking to stand apart through its customized knee implants that are manufactured based on each patient's unique anatomy.
Last year, Conformis entered into a settlement and license agreement with Smith & Nephew to resolve a patent dispute in which Smith & Nephew was required to pay $10.5 million.
The Billerica, Massachusetts-based device maker also sells single-use instruments and says it owns or licenses about 450 patents and pending patent applications for implants and instrumentation covering all major joints.
In the complaint against Zimmer Biomet, Conformis said its patents cover technologies that include imaging software and processing, patient-specific orthopaedic implants and instrumentation, methods of design and manufacture of patient-specific systems, and related surgical techniques.
Conformis identifies Zimmer Biomet's Vanguard, Persona, NexGen and Gender Solutions knee products, as well as its PSI shoulder systems and a hip product called the Signature Personalized Patient Care System/Acetabular Guide System as products that infringe its patents.
In the second quarter, Conformis posted a net loss of $6.8 million, compared to a loss of $14.1 million in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 3% to $19.6 million. Conformis said it faced reimbursement challenges in Germany and expects flat full-year revenue growth primarily due to denials of coverage from Aetna.
Zimmer Biomet did not respond to MedTech Dive's request for comment.