C5 Medical Werks, LLC v. CeramTec GmbH

On January 5, 2016, after an 11-day bench trial, Judge R. Brooke Jackson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado ruled in favor of Analysis Group client C5 Medical Werks in a trade dress infringement matter. C5 had challenged defendant CeramTec's trade dress protection on the use of the color pink in ceramic hip implant components.  The pink color arises from the inclusion of chromium in the ceramic materials. C5 claimed that the addition of chromium is “functional” in that it increases the hardness and the quality of the material, and as a result CeramTec is not entitled to trade dress protection on the color pink.

An Analysis Group team including Vice President Stephen Cacciola, Manager Charlene Zhou, and Associate Luxi Wang supported affiliate Arnold Barnett, Professor of Statistics at MIT's Sloan School of Management. Professor Barnett's analysis evaluated the statistical relationship between chromium and the hardness of the ceramic material based on several datasets produced in the litigation. Judge Jackson's order cited Professor Barnett's trial testimony in concluding that there is “statistically significant evidence” that chromium increases hardness. As a result of the ruling, C5 will be allowed to market pink hip implant components without any interference from CeramTec based on claims of trade dress infringement.

 

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