Stryker Sues Zimmer Over U.S. Surgical Device Patents

Stryker Corp., a maker of artificial knees and hips, filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Zimmer Holdings Inc. to block sales of a device that removes damaged tissue and cleans bones during joint surgery.

Stryker claims Zimmer’s Pulsavac Plus system infringes three U.S. patents and is seeking cash compensation and an order to prevent further use of the inventions, according to a complaint filed Dec. 10 in federal court in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The patents cover devices that use pulsing liquid, such as water or saline solution, to loosen debris from a surgical site and remove it by suction. The process clears the area for the doctors to see better during orthopedic surgery.

The Pulsavac Plus wound debridement system is part of Zimmer’s Orthopaedic Surgical Products unit, which reported $277.6 million in sales last year, or 6.8 percent of the Warsaw, Indiana-based company’s revenue last year, according to Bloomberg data.

Stryker sells the InterPulse and SurgiLav systems. The MedSurg Equipment unit, which includes sales of surgical supplies, accounted for $2.6 billion, or 39 percent of Kalamazoo-based Stryker’s revenue last year.

Garry Clark, a spokesman for Zimmer, said the company has a policy to not comment on legal matters.

The case is Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer Inc., 10cv1223, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan (Kalamazoo).

To contact the reporter on this story: Susan Decker in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Allan Holmes at

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