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Amanda Pedersen 1

January 18, 2017

2 Min Read
How Pink Made One Ceramic Supplier See Red

Amanda Pedersen


medical-ceramic-hip-implant-ball-and-cup-cerasurf-p-720x520-mic_0.jpg

The pink color of this ceramic hip component, the CeraSurf-p from CoorsTek, set CeramTec off in 2014.

CoorsTek Inc.'s pink ceramic hip components made CeramTec GmbH see red in 2014, but a Colorado judge has ruled that CeramTec does not own trademark rights to the color pink.

Back in 2014, CeramTec, of Plochingen, Germany, tried to stop Golden, CO-based CoorsTek from selling its pink CeraSurf-p devices to orthopedic device companies for use in implantable hip systems. CoorsTek took CeramTec to court to settle the issue, and a U.S. District Court judge in Colorado recently ruled in CoorsTek's favor.

The judge said CeramTec does not own any U.S. trademark or trade dress rights to the color pink, and that CoorsTek is free to sell its pink CeraSurf-p devices. The FDA cleared CeraSurf for use in hip implant systems in February 2016.

CoorsTek said its CeraSurf-p ceramic material is engineered with chromium oxide dopants in an advanced ceramic matrix to provide a combination of hardness and toughness. The company said the inherent pink color of the material is a natural byproduct of the chromium oxide.

According to CoorsTek, the FDA also determined in February that the CeraCurf-p is substantially equivalent to predicate systems incorporating the latest generation of advanced ceramic material, including CeramTec's Biolox delta, which is also pink.

CoorsTek's CeraSurf-p ceramic femoral heads and acetabular liners have been available for clinical use as bearing surfaces for hip implant systems in South America since 2011 and in Europe since 2012.

CeramTec currently controls roughly 95% of the U.S. market for implantable ceramic hip components, CoorsTek noted.

Jonathan Coors, CEO of CoorsTek Medical, said the court's ruling will ensure that a key component for the U.S. orthopedic market is fully opened to competition, which in turn should enable medical device companies to develop efficiencies that benefit patients, hospitals, and surgeons.

"Limited alternatives and affordable care cannot coexist in today's dynamic healthcare economy," said Bryan McMillan, president of CoorsTek Medical.

Amanda Pedersen is Qmed's news editor. Reach her at [email protected]

[Image credit: CoorsTek Inc.]

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