- The U.S. Supreme Court Monday turned down Zimmer Biomet's request for review of a judgment in its patent infringement case against medical device competitor Stryker.
The patent at issue in the underlying case, owned by Stryker, involved devices to clean and irrigate wounds during surgery.
Zimmer Biomet was found in 2017 to have willfully infringed Stryker's patent which led to a tripling of a $70 million damage award against it. The company wanted the high court to review the scope of the damages awarded in the case. The judgment was one of the largest ever awarded for enhanced patent damages.
After Zimmer Biomet pursued multiple appeals and requests for reconsideration, the company has reached the last stop in a case that has dragged on for nearly nine years.
Zimmer wanted the high court to reconsider the enhanced damages award of $248 million — one of the largest enhanced damages awards ever granted in a patent infringement case.
Under federal patent law, judges are accorded discretion to "increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed." A judge may decided to enhance or increase an award based on how egregious the infringer's conduct is found to be.
Zimmer argued the the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit erred in allowing enhanced damages to be awarded based merely on a "should have known" standard of negligence, a standard Zimmer argued is too lax.
The case was originally filed in December 2010 when Stryker sued Zimmer in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, claiming infringement of patents on pulsed lavage devices. The devices are used to clean and irrigate wounds.