Jacksonville, Fla. – April 26, 2021 – GrayRobinson litigation attorney R. Troy Smith, shareholder in the Jacksonville office, prevailed for client DePuy Synthes Vet in DePuy Synthes Products Inc. v. Veterinary Orthopedic Implant (VOI) before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The Circuit Court upheld a decision allowing our client to disclose the manufacturer allegedly partnering with a private equity-owned competitor on products that are accused of infringing one of its orthopedic patents, rejecting an argument that the information was a trade secret. Stemming from a 2019 ruling from a Florida U.S. District judge, the panel found that DePuy was free to add the product manufacturer to DePuy’s amended complaint due to the absence of a confidentiality agreement between VOI and its manufacturer.
DePuy Synthes Vet, part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Device Companies, filed suit against VOI in Florida federal court in late 2018 and claimed that multiple bone plates it sells for canine surgical procedures infringe on a patent owned by DePuy. In 2019, DePuy moved to add the manufacturer that VOI uses as an additional defendant in the infringement suit. In a briefing, VOI called the identity of that company "a highly confidential trade secret that is jealously guarded." VOI argued that the manufacturer’s relationship with the company was not publicly made known, however, DePuy argued that the manufacturer was publicly known for infringing on DePuy’s patents.