Yeah, data retrieval is probably out. Recovering access to the hardware (i.e. to install a new OS on it) is a slightly more hopeful prospect...
In this area I'll have to respectively disagree with rbailin. While some modern hardware no longer stores the password in the CMOS, this isn't true of *all* computers.
Lenovo is probably the biggest troublemaker with BIOS passwords since the password is actually encrypted and stored within some wierdo motherboard storage chip. The only way you'll be able to get around a Lenovo BIOS password would be to literally solder a $40 adapter into the motherboard, then connect the adapter to the serial port on a second computer, run a specific piece of software, and then sift through about 40 pages of hex codes to seek out the actual password field. There're instructions somewhere out there, but I don't have an exact URL for you right now.
If the laptop was made by a different hardware manufacturer, then you're probably in luck. Dell, HP and Toshiba laptops are much easier to deal with in case of a lost BIOS password. Steps vary between them, sometimes it *is* as simple as pulling the CMOS battery, other times it requires a bit more effort.
We'll be able to help you a bit more if we knew the hardware manufacturer. Could you post the information along with laptop model number? Well, actually this will probably only be helpful if it's a common manufacturer. (e.g. Dell, HP, etc...)