CoorsTek, a global manufacturer of technical ceramics, announced the decision of the EU Trademark Court of Appeals in Paris to uphold the previous Paris EU Trademark High Court ruling in favor of the company’s ability to manufacture and market their CeraSurf®-p pink implantable ceramic hip components. This decision is the latest ruling against CeramTec GmbH in the lawsuit originally filed in 2013 by CeramTec, claiming the development and marketing of CeraSurf®-p by CoorsTek for orthopaedic applications was in direct violation of CeramTec’s invalidated European Union trademark registrations for pink colored ceramic hip components.
The ruling against CeramTec will benefit the global supply chain for implantable ceramic components used in total hip arthroplasty (hip replacement surgery)—including medical device OEMs, surgeons, and patients—by allowing for more competition and options in the orthopaedic space.
“CoorsTek is extremely pleased with the latest decision by the EU Trademark Court of Appeals,” said Jonathan Coors, CEO of CoorsTek. “Competition drives innovation, and patients deserve access to the best possible options for their healthcare. Our ability to manufacture and market our state-of-the-art material will progressively drive future advancements in orthopaedic surgery.”
In the June 2021 decision, the Paris Court of Appeals upheld the cancelations of the three EU trademarks and the dismissal of CeramTec’s trademark infringement and parasitic competition claims against CoorsTek. The Court confirmed the trademarks were filed in bad faith and additionally ordered CeramTec to pay damages for abuse of trademark law.
This decision followed the February 2018 ruling in which the Paris EU Trademark High Court ruled Ceramtec’s European Union trademark registrations related to the color pink as applied to ceramic implants were invalid and unenforceable throughout the EU. Among other decisions, the ruling canceled CeramTec’s three EU trademarks, dismissed CeramTec’s claim for trademark infringement in France against CoorsTek for its CeraSurf®-p ceramic hip components, and found that CeramTec’s filings for trademarks in pink were made in bad faith. Read more on the 2018 decision.
CeramTec appealed the ruling in June 2018, spurring the more recent legal action and subsequent ruling. CeramTec has four months to appeal to the French Supreme Court. Under French rules of civil procedure, the Paris court of appeal decision is fully enforceable, and an appeal to the French Supreme Court would be confined to points of law.
Hip implant femoral heads (hip balls) and acetabular liners (cups) manufactured from CoorsTek CeraSurf®-p ceramic material demonstrate exceptional durability and longevity in hip arthroplasty applications. The inherent pink color of the CeraSurf®-p ceramic material is a natural result of the chromium oxide dopant used in the ceramic matrix, providing a combination of hardness and toughness.
Over 40,000 CoorsTek CeraSurf®-p ceramic femoral heads and liners have been sold for clinical use as bearing surfaces for hip implant systems. CeraSurf®-p hip components were cleared for regulatory use in Brazil in 2011 (ANVISA), in Europe in 2012 (CE Mark), and received FDA 510(k) clearance in the U.S. in 2016.