Today neuro surgical medical device maker NICO Corporation announced they have invested more than 10 years building, perfecting and protecting its diverse intellectual property (IP) portfolio encompassing technologies and methodologies around a better way of performing minimally disruptive brain surgery. One of the company’s most recent patents issued today provides for additional protection around its unique brain access technology, BrainPath – the world’s first and only technology that accesses the brain through the sulcus, or natural opening in the brain.
Joe Mark, Chief Technology Officer of NICO and primary inventor of its patented technologies comments: “This new issuance further protects the distinctive capabilities of the BrainPath technology and is validation by the patent office that these innovations are relevant and worthy of protecting.” He added, “Our goal has been to develop technologies that can be used as part of a systems approach to achieve the long desired goal of non-destructive trans-sulcal access to the subcortical space. We have accomplished this goal and our bibliography of more than 60 independently published papers and abstracts suggests that these innovations contribute to improved patient outcomes.”
Patent number 10,022,520 specifically provides for additional protection of BrainPath, including:
- An introducing obturator whereby a third-party navigational probe is configured to be selectively integrated with the introducing obturator;
- An introducing obturator whereby a third-party navigational probe is precluded from extending beyond the introducing obturator
BrainPath is designed to be a deficit-sparing device that is introduced parallel to the brain’s delicate anatomy and is guided by navigation, allowing the physician guided, non-disruptive access to the brain.
“Non-disruptive access in any surgical specialty opens the door to innovation, improved outcomes and propels the field forward,” said Jim Pearson, NICO President and CEO. “What NICO’s technologies accomplish for neurosurgery is much like when arthroscopic knee surgery came to orthopedics – it revolutionized what was possible.”
NICO’s strong IP portfolio is centered around a systematic approach to minimally disruptive access, automated tissue removal and hemorrhage evacuation, and intraoperative tissue harvesting and biological preservation. The basis for the portfolio is to protect and build upon technologies designed to deliver improved clinical and economic outcomes for healthcare providers.
“Much of it starts with not having preconceived notions about limitations. I don’t ask why we can’t do something, I ask how can we achieve a desired outcome that is better for the neurosurgeon, the hospital and the patient,” Mark said. “My job is to think about the clinical needs and all possible solutions before anyone else does – solutions that truly meet an unmet need and provide strong commercial and patent opportunities for NICO.”
NICO’s U.S. and international patent portfolio now totals more than 200 patents. The company has made a significant investment in IP applications because of the high value placed on protecting the unique surgical approach and added surgical options they bring to the market.
“We have been very deliberate about investing in and building fences around our innovative technologies,” said Pearson. “We have been and will continue to be forward-thinking about how we protect our concepts and methods.”