Four Mile Bay Sues Zimmer Holdings

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Four Mile Bay, LLC recently sued Zimmer Holdings, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.  The complaint alleges that Zimmer Holdings’ hip implants, such as the “Trabecular Metal Primary Hip Prosthesis,” infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 8,506,642 and 8,821,582, which issued in 2013 and 2014, respectively.  Both patents are entitled “Hip Implant with Porous Body.”

Last year, Indiana Intellectual Property Law News reported on another suit filed by Four Mile Bay against Zimmer in the Northern District of Indiana.  In its complaint, Four Mile Bay alleged that Zimmer infringed U.S. Patent No. 8,684,734, entitled “Dental Implant with Porous Body.”  The case is still pending.

Four Mile Bay seeks a judgment of infringement, reasonable royalties, and both pre-judgment and post-judgment interest in both cases.

USPTO Assignment Database records show that all of the ‘642, ‘582, and ‘734 patents were assigned by the inventor (and IP attorney), Philip Lyren, to William Lyren on November 1, 2013.  William Lyren then assigned the patents to Four Mile Bay, LLC on February 1, 2014.  According to the USPTO search page, Philip Lyren is a listed inventor on a number of patents and applications having broadly varying subject matter, including:

  • Home appliance that can operate in a time range (Pat. No. 8,954,199)
  • User Agent with Personality (Pat. Pub. No. 2014/0359439)
  • Displaying Targeted Advertisements to Users (Pat. Pub. No. 2014/0330649)
  • Determine a Product from Private Information of a User (Pat. Pub. No. 2014/0316853)
  • Cover for Handheld Portable Electronic Device (Pat. Pub. No. 2014/0313551)
  • Peer-to-Peer Data Storage (Pat. Pub. No. 2014/0297742)
  • Methods and apparatus for generating recommendations for gifts (Pat. No. 8,577,741)
  • Marketing and selling feature length movies over networks (Pat. No. 8,521,601)
  • Portable electronic device for receiving and playing feature length movies (Pat. No. 8,424,048)
The suits against Zimmer are not the first time Mr. Philip Lyren’s patents have been litigated.  In 2014, Arstechnica published “Meet the ‘inventor’ of the week: Patent troll owns pre-release digital movies,” which prominently featured Mr. Lyren.

According to its website, Zimmer designs and manufactures a variety of joint replacement products.  Zimmer states that the “Trabecular Metal Primary Hip Prosthesis” uses a material with a “highly porous, strut configuration nature” and “open pore-configuration” to enable biological growth.  According to the complaint, Four Mile Bay is a Nevada limited liability company having its principal place of business in Wadsworth, Ohio.  Nevada Business Entity records indicate that William J. Lyren is the sole officer of the company.

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