News / 06.07.2020

Haavind assisted Heraeus Medical in lawsuit

Author(s) Nicolai Heyerdahl

Haavind Partners Rasmus Asbjørnsen, Vebjørn Iversen and Associate Håkon Austdal have represented Heraeus Medical, a global producer of medical supplies for orthopaedic surgery, in a legal process against their competitor Zimmer Biomet.

Heraeus Medical is an industry leader for bone cements used in arthroplasty, for effective and permanent fixation of implants in bone. The company is a part of the Heraeus Group; a Global Fortune 500 company, generating an annual revenue of more than 20 billion Euros with over 13 000 employees across 40 countries.

The dispute concerned whether Zimmer Biomet, a former distributor for Heraeus, illegally used Heraeus trade secrets in developing competing bone cement products.

The case in Norway has been ongoing since 2015, and the main hearing went before the Norwegian District Court over a seven-day period. Thommessen represented Zimmer Biomet.

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In its recent verdict, the District Court ruled in favour of Heraeus and found that Zimmer Biomet illegally used Heraeus’ trade secrets in developing their product. The Court also ruled in favour of Heraeus to cease Zimmer Biomet product sales in Norway. Heraeus was awarded approximately NOK 19,5 million in compensation for lost sales as well as NOK 5 million in legal costs.  Although the ruling is not yet legally enforceable, the victory is a huge win for Heraeus and will be significant for ongoing legal processes in other countries.

The legal proceedings in Norway is part of a multi-national bundle of proceedings coordinated by Dr. Friedrich Klinkert with the law firm Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB in Frankfurt. Dr. Friedrich Klinkert and his team had a significant and invaluable role for the outcome in Norway and has helped the Haavind team in an excellent and well structured manner.