Patent infringement suit wins $20M for Boston Scientific against Nevro

In a Delaware federal court, Boston Scientific was awarded $20 million for patent infringement. Boston Scientific claimed that spinal-cord stimulation products made by Nevro infringed on its patents. Using electrical pulses, both systems mask the brain’s interpretation of pain signals by sending them to specific nerves in the spinal cord.

The ongoing complaint, initially filed in 2016, accused Nevro of taking advantage of certain trade secrets which were disclosed by a minimum of one of 50+ former Boston Scientific employees whom Nevro hired since the company began in 2006. Boston Scientific claim that these former employees were substantially knowledgeable of the contentious Precision systems and how they were used on related patients.

Boston Scientific have said that this information has enabled Nevro to construct spinal cord stimulators which “infringe Boston Scientific’s patents directed to critical features of SCS systems, including features for programming the implanted device and communicating with and recharging and monitoring the status of the battery within the implantable component of SCS systems.”

The jury conceded that the Nevro company were in infringement of two of the four contested patents, and did so deliberately in one of the cases. Boston Scientific were ordered to pay Nevro $20 million in royalties in conjunction with this finding.

A statement Nevro released in response to the verdict said that the imposition would “not have a material impact on Nevro’s business”, noting also that despite the jury’s decision, no restrictions would be imposed on the products which the company offer. Nevertheless, Nevro’s general counsel, Kashif Rashid, said: “We disagree with the finding by the jury and plan to appeal.”

Meanwhile, Boston Scientific announced in a statement: “We are gratified that the jury upheld Boston Scientific spinal cord stimulation lead patents and recognized that Nevro should pay for infringing those patents. This is the first step in holding Nevro accountable for the use of Boston Scientific intellectual property. The jury’s decision validating Boston Scientific spinal cord stimulation patents supports our goal of bringing meaningful innovations to patients living with chronic pain conditions.”

Boston Scientific’s Precision system was launched in 2004, stating that this tech forms “the foundation of every SCS system on the market, including Nevro’s Senza Systems.”

Boston Scientific and Nevro have both made over $760 and $360 million respectively last fiscal year from their neuromodulation products, according to filings with the US Securities Exchange Commission.

A related patent case that Nevro filed in a federal court in San Francisco was settled last year, and

Nevro conversely sued Boston Scientific on a separate claim in February in Delaware stating patent infringement, with the allegation that the company has “desperately tried to mimic every step of Nevro’s innovations” within the field of spinal cord simulation therapy, although Boston Scientific requested that these claims were dismissed to the court.

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