Abstract Results on the deposition and characterization of TiO x N y /ZrO x N y multilayers, with bilayer periods of 20 and 400 nm, are presented. The coatings were deposited on TiNiNb alloy substrates by the pulsed magnetron sputtering method. The elemental composition, hardness, adhesion and corrosion resistance of the coatings were analyzed. As resulted from the XPS analysis, the individual layers consisted of a mixture of titanium or zirconium oxynitrides and corresponding oxides. X-ray analysis revealed that the coatings were amorphous. Only slight differences between the microhardness and adhesion values of the coatings with small and large bilayer period Λ were found. The experiments also showed that the multilayered coatings improved the corrosion resistance of the uncoated alloy and reduced the amount of ion release in artificial body fluids.