Biomet said this week that it settled a portion of a patent infringement case with a notorious patent troll and lost a trade secrets theft lawsuit brought in Germany over some of its bone cements.
Last year an affiliate of Acacia Research Group, 1 of the largest patent troll operations in the U.S., sued Biomet for failure to pay royalties, misuse of confidential information and infringement of 15 patents licensed by Acacia, according to a regulatory filing. Biomet had already sued for a judgment of non-infringement in a different court, according to the filing.
Warsaw, Ind.-based Biomet said it settled the claims over 4 of the patents in March “for a 1-time payment.”
“The company is vigorously defending this matter and believes that its defenses against infringement for the patents remaining in the suit are valid and meritorious,” according to the filing. “The company can make no assurances as to the time or resources that will be needed to devote to this litigation or its final outcome.”
The outcome was less favorable in Germany, where a lawsuit brought in 2008 by Heraeus Kulzer GmbH, alleging that Biomet misappropriated trade secrets when developing its Refobacin and Biomet bone cements, according to the filing. In June a German appeals court enjoined Biomet and various European subsidiaries from making or selling the cements “to the extent they contain certain raw materials in particular specifications” and held them liable for damages, which Heraeus claims to be more than €30 million (about $39.7 million at today’s exchange rate).
Although damages have not been determined and the judgment isn’t final, Biomet still plans to appeal to Germany’s Supreme Court.
“On July 3, 2014, Heraeus offered security and may now execute the judgment in Germany at any time. If Heraeus were to execute the judgment, Biomet, Biomet Europe BV and Biomet Deutschland GmbH would be immediately enjoined from the manufacture, marketing, sale and offering of European Cements in Germany,” according to the filing. “While Heraeus has indicated that it intends to take the position that the judgment would prohibit the manufacture, marketing, sale and offering of European Cements outside of Germany as well, Biomet, Biomet Europe BV and Biomet Deutschland GmbH will vigorously contest any attempt to extend the effect of the judgment beyond Germany.”