- Nevro, a California medical device company focused on chronic pain treatments, announced late Monday it has agreed with Boston Scientific to dismiss its patent case against the medtech giant relating to high- frequency spinal cord stimulation therapy.
- The agreement by the parties to end the patent lawsuit in the Northern District of California is due to the fact that Boston Scientific does not have current plans to commercially launch a high-frequency spinal cord stimulation system in the U.S., according to Nevro. However, the medtechs will continue separate patent cases in the District of Delaware and at the Patent Office relating to disputes over other SCS technologies.
- While the official dismissal of the case is subject to approval by the California court, Boston Scientific declared victory emphasizing that the case ended with Nevro achieving none of its legal aims, including seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against further infringement as well as damages and attorney's fees.
Nevro competes with large medtechs including Abbott, Boston Scientific, and Medtronic. The company's Senza spinal cord stimulation system is a non-pharmacologic neuromodulation platform to treat chronic pain. With the United States accounting for around 80% of the estimated $2.5 billion global SCS market, the U.S. courts have become a legal battleground for patent cases filed by Boston Scientific and Nevro against each other.
Monday's announcements by both companies agreeing to the dismissal of the patent case in California began in late 2016 when Nevro accused Boston Scientific of infringing patents related to its Senza system.
However, that lawsuit backfired on Nevro in July 2018 when the court found Boston Scientific could sell its Spectra WaveWriter systems without infringing on Nevro patents. Then, in April 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sided with Nevro finding the lower California court erred in invalidating four Nevro patents covering high-frequency spinal cord stimulation, vacating and remanding the judgment of invalidity.
Despite that legal victory earlier this year, Nevro has decided not to pursue its patent lawsuit against Boston Scientific in the Northern District of California ostensibly given its confidence that the medtech giant does not have any imminent plans to commercially launch a high-frequency SCS system delivering therapy at frequencies between 1.5 kHz and 100 kHz.
"Because Boston Scientific still does not have any current plans to commercially launch a high-frequency SCS system in the United States, the parties agreed to dismiss all remaining claims in the California case," according to Nevro's statement.
Still, from Boston Scientific's perspective, the medtech giant contends there has been no legal ruling "which would impose any restrictions" on any current or future product from the company.
"We are pleased that every single claim brought by Nevro in this case will be dismissed," said Desiree Ralls-Morrison, Boston Scientific's general, in a written statement. "This dismissal will allow us to focus our legal efforts on upholding our company's intellectual property in this dynamic category of innovation."
Two cases brought by Boston Scientific against Nevro, including one that alleges theft of trade secrets, are still making their way through the courts and are not impacted by the potential dismissal of the California litigation. The first trial is currently scheduled for October 2021 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.