Knobbe/Martens: Intellectual Property Law

Aesthetics & Personal Care Products


Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation
Knobbe Martens has represented Medicis in patent prosecution as well as IP due diligence for several high profile deals since 2005, including acquiring the rights to market type A botulinum toxin, under the name DYSPORT®, which was approved by the FDA in 2009 for certain aesthetic uses, as well as acquiring the rights to a topical formulation of botulinum toxin presently under development.

Medicis is one of the leading independent specialty pharmaceutical companies in the United States focusing primarily on the treatment of dermatological and aesthetic conditions. Medicis is dedicated to helping patients attain a healthy and youthful appearance and self-image. Since 1988, Medicis has introduced more than 25 new products and formulations. Medicis products have earned wide acceptance by both physicians and patients due to their clinical effectiveness, high quality and cosmetic elegance. Medicis was the only pharmaceutical company in the world selected for the World's Most Ethical (WME) Companies list in 2011, a roster of high-performing organizations that have achieved leadership positions in their respective industries through exemplary business ethics and social responsibility.

Nobel Biocare
Nobel is the world's leading manufacturer of dental implants, which are surgically implanted in the jaw to support prosthetic teeth and dental bridges. Knobbe Martens represents Nobel in patent litigation, arbitration, and prosecution matters. Litigation and arbitration victories include the following:

  • Small v. Nobel Biocare USA, LLC
    A dentist sued Nobel Biocare alleging infringement of two patents relating to dental implant designs. The patents survived years of re-examination and reissue proceedings, and numerous other defendants settled. Nobel instead chose to have us challenge the patents, with $50 million in damages at stake. After obtaining key admissions from the dentist about the first patient on whom she used the patented implant, we obtained summary judgment of invalidity due to an on-sale bar. We also proved the second patent was invalid on multiple grounds, including the rare defense of “reissue recapture.” The dentist promptly dismissed the case.
  • Nobel Biocare USA, LLC v. Technique D’Usinage Sinlab
    We obtained summary judgment for Nobel Biocare. Competitor Sinlab accused Nobel of willfully infringing five U.S. patents for computerized dental surgery planning and customized dental prosthetics. The parties had litigated related patents for years in Canada and Europe. To quickly end this infringement threat, we filed a declaratory judgment action in the “rocket docket” of Eastern District of Virginia. Only six months after filing suit, the court granted summary judgment of non-infringement on all patents at issue. The case subsequently settled globally very favorably to Nobel.
  • Zimmer Inc. v. Nobel Biocare, USA, Inc.
    The firm successfully defended Nobel Biocare, USA, Inc. in a binding arbitration proceeding involving a dental implant patent dispute where alleged past damages of $100 million and a possible injunction against future sales were at risk. Two of Nobel’s popular product lines were accused of infringement in this binding arbitration conducted by a panel of three patent attorneys. The patent had been previously enforced against over a dozen companies in the dental implant industry, resulting in settlements and payments of millions of dollars in royalties to the patent owner. Instead of owing any damages, Nobel Biocare was found not to infringe, and was awarded over $2 million in lawyers' fees and expenses.

Ulthera Inc.
The firm represented Ulthera Inc., developer of ultrasound technology to rejuvenate the skin, in IP diligence resulting in the successful completion of $10.5 million in Series C venture funding. The funding was led by New Enterprise Associates with participation by Apposite Capital LLP. The Ulthera® System, approved by the FDA for eyebrow lifting, combines traditional ultrasound imaging with focused ultrasound therapy to provide lifting and toning of the skin, including face and neck treatments and eyebrow lifts. Coverage of Ulthera on national television segments has raised awareness among millions of consumers, fueling demand for the treatment worldwide. Knobbe Martens has also helped to build and manage Ulthera’s patent and trademark portfolio.

Urban Decay Cosmetics
Knobbe Martens represents Urban Decay Cosmetics—recently acquired by L’Oreal—in trademark enforcement and litigation matters worldwide. For example, Knobbe recently represented Urban Decay in litigation against Victoria’s Secret regarding Urban Decay’s family of NAKED marks for cosmetics. The declaratory judgment action brought by Victoria’s Secret, Victoria’s Secret Stores Brand Management, Inc. v. Urban Decay Cosmetics, LLC, No. 2:12-cv-00693 (S.D. Ohio), was dismissed in light of a favorable settlement for Urban Decay.

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