UPDATED: German cops seize Boston Scientific stents in cutthroat patent fight

OrbusNeich Medical called the cops on Boston Scientific ($BSX) in Germany in a nasty escalation of their ongoing stent patent dispute.

OrbusNeich claims that the police action led to a seizure of more than 190 stent systems from its arch-rival's German offices, enacted at its prodding to enforce a preliminary injunction preventing their sale in the country. OrbusNeich claims the action became necessary after Boston Scientific initially denied the disputed stents were there.

Boston Scientific issued a statement to FierceMedicalDevices asserting that OrbusNeich's take on the issue is way off base.

"We have no interest in fighting this issue in the media, and therefore will not respond to all the inaccuracies laid out in the OrbusNeich release issued today," the company said. "As we have stated previously, Boston Scientific believes that the OrbusNeich claims are without legal merit and are intended to cause business disruption.   We have appealed the preliminary injunction and look forward to making our case through the appropriate legal channels."

OrbusNeich scored a big victory in the patent dispute earlier this month, when a Dusseldorf Regional Court enacted a preliminary injunction preventing Boston Scientific from selling a number of its Promus, Omega, Taxus and Synergy stent models in Germany. The injunction also apparently gave OrbusNeich the right to size the disputed models--more than 190--connected to the ongoing dustup. OrbusNeich decided to enforce the seizure rule, the company claims, after Boston Scientific allegedly insisted it didn't have any of the disputed systems in storage in Ratingen, Germany, where the police seizure eventually took place.

Earlier this month, OrbusNeich Medical alleged that Boston Scientific was using a U.K. subsidiary to circumvent the preliminary court injunction in place to prevent the disputed stents from going on sale.

We must admit, we can't remember the last time a patent dispute in the device world has gotten so nasty. But OrbusNeich, with headquarters in Hong Kong and operations in China, Florida and The Netherlands, is going all-out to pursue this fight--not just in Germany, but also in the Netherlands and Ireland.

The global stent industry is highly competitive, and judging by the current dispute, more than a little cutthroat. We'll keep you posted as this story evolves.

- read the OrbusNeich release

Editor's note: This story was updated with a statement from Boston Scientific.

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