EU Court Rules CoorsTek’s Implants Can Remain Pretty in Pink
The EU Trademark Court of Appeals has sided with Golden, Colorado-based CoorsTek, Inc. in a legal battle brought by Plochingen, Germany-based CeramTec GmbH over its pink colored implantable ceramic hip components.
CoorsTek is a worldwide supplier of technical ceramics. The company services nearly every industry including orthopedics. Per its website, CoorsTek CeraSurf®-p is a “state of the art material used for ceramic bearing surfaces in total hip arthroplasty.” The hip implants have a pink color which, according to the company, occurs naturally due to the “chromium oxide dopant used in the ceramic matrix.”
CeramTec manufactures and supplies technical ceramics. Its pink BIOLOX® delta ceramics are used for hip implants. The company has been trying to enforce a right to pink ceramic hip components. In 2013, CeramTec sued CoorsTek alleging that CoorsTek’s CeraSurf®-p violated CeramTec’s EU trademarks for pink ceramic hip components.
In 2018, the Paris EU Trademark High Court found that CeramTec’s EU trademark registrations for the color pink with relation to ceramic implants were invalid in the EU. According to the press release, the court “canceled CeramTec's three EU trademarks” and dismissed CeramTec's trademark infringement claim “against CoorsTek for its CeraSurf®-p ceramic hip components.” Additionally, the court found that CeramTec's pink trademark filings “were made in bad faith.”
CeramTec subsequently appealed the court’s decision, prompting the current ruling. In a recent decision, the appeals court upheld the 2018 decision. It also ordered CeramTec to pay damages.
CoorsTek CEO Jonathan Coors expressed pleasure with the court’s decision. Coors stated, “CoorsTek is extremely pleased with the latest decision by the EU Trademark Court of Appeals."
Coors continued, “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."
CeramTec has fought a similar legal battle in the United States. For OTW’s coverage of the litigation, see “Pink Hip Implant Battle: The Grand Finale.”