Hanau, Germany-based Heraeus sued Biomet back in 2008, alleging that Biomet misappropriated trade secrets when developing its Refobacin and Biomet bone cements. In June 2014, a German appeals court enjoined Biomet from making or selling the cements.*
Both sides appealed, but last June the German Supreme Court dismissed the appeals, prompting Heraeus to restart the proceedings in December 2016 to force Zimmer Biomet’s Swiss subsidiary to relinquish its CE Mark approvals for the Refobacin and Biomet cements, Zimmer Biomet said in the filing.
Heraeus, which has been owned by Japan’s Matsui Chemicals since 2013, also lodged a new suit in Germany claiming €121.9 million in damages in January.
The German firm also went after a Biomet supplier called Esschem in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania in 2014, according to the filing. That suit accuses Biomet of helping Esschem develop a pair of copolymers used to make cements that compete with Heraeus products, using trade secrets allegedly pilfered from the German company. The suit seeks to bar Esschem from supplying the copolymers to anyone and asks for punitive damages and legal costs; Zimmer Biomet said it agreed to indemnify Esschem for any liability with certain exceptions. The case is slated to go to trial June 19, according to the filing.
($1 = €0.945288)
*Correction, August 28, 2019: This article originally stated that the German court awarded more than €30 million in damages. We regret the error. Return to the corrected sentence.