A California federal judge yesterday upheld NuVasive‘s (NSDQ:NUVA) $30 million trademark infringement loss to NeuroVision Medical Products and formally canceled NuVasive’s rights to the ‘neurovision’ name.
NeuroVision 1st sued NuVasive in 2009, alleging infringement of its namesake trademark. Under Judge Manuel Real of the U.S. District Court for Central California, a jury in October 2010 found that NuVasive infringed the NeuroVision trademark with some of its neuromonitoring products.
NuVasive appealed, arguing that Real "fundamentally misunderstood trademark law" and "exhibited hostility toward NuVasive’s counsel in front of the jury." In September 2012, the appeals court agreed and overturned Real’s ruling, rebuking the judge and remanding the case for a new trial under a different judge. But last April, a new jury under Judge Judge Dale Fischer also found that NuVasive infringed the trademark, finding the infringement willful and imposing $30 million in damages, according to court documents. NuVasive asked Fischer to overturn the verdict, or to declare a new trial or grant a judgment based on its affirmative defenses.
Fischer demurred August 5, denying all of NuVasive’s motions and granting NeuroVision’s bids for an injunction and the trademark cancellation, according to court documents. In a pair of rulings yesterday the judge made it official, confirming the $30 million damages award and barred NuVasive from using the neurovision name, staying the ruling pending the company’s appeal to the U.S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
NuVasive has said the appeals process could last as long as 2 years. Spokeswoman Carol Cox told Law360.com that the decision "has virtually no impact on our business because we changed the name of our neuromonitoring products several years ago and have not used the name except for historical purposes."