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Browne George Ross LLP Wins $30 Million Verdict In Trademark Dispute Against Medical Device Manufacturer NuVasive, Inc. (NUVA)


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Last Thursday a federal jury awarded $30 million in a trademark infringement case brought by Neurovision Medical Products against NuVasive.

The plaintiff Neurovision Medical is a surgical device company based in Ventura, California. It was founded in 1985 by Dr. J. Lee Rea, a physician and electrical engineer, who was a pioneer in the field of nerve location and avoidance technology used in surgery. Currently, Neurovision Medical is known for state-of-the-art nerve surveillance technology and continues to develop, market, and distribute such products throughout the United States and abroad.

The defendant NuVasive is a publicly traded medical device company based in San Diego, California. It describes itself on its website as the “third largest spine company in the U.S.” with revenues in excess of $685 million in 2013.

In the lawsuit, Neurovision Medical alleged that, years ago when NuVasive was a start up, it deliberately appropriated for itself the goodwill associated with Neurovision Medical’s established trademark. Following a five-day trial, the jury decided in favor of Neurovision Medical on all claims. The jury found that Neurovision Medical owns the Neurovision trademark throughout the United States, that NuVasive infringed upon that trademark wilfully, and that NuVasive defrauded the United States Patent and Trademark Office by registering the trademark for itself. The jury awarded Neurovision Medical $30 million.

In response to the verdict, Dr. Rea commented: “We are grateful for the result and the return to us of our trademark. Much consumer confusion will be avoided as we continue to use that mark on our products that make surgery safer for doctors and patients.”

Neurovision Medical is represented by Peter W. Ross and Keith J. Wesley of Browne George Ross LLP in Century City and by K. Andrew Kent of Rincon Venture Law Group in Ventura, California. This is the second, eight-figure verdict Mr. Ross has obtained this year. The first, in February, against medical device manufacturer Alphatec Spine, was for $48 million ($73 million including pre-judgment interest.) Both verdicts will likely be in the top ten verdicts in California this year.

NuVasive is represented by William Boggs of DLA Piper.



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