A legal battle is brewing over a promising medical technology used in the treatment of neuropathic pain.
Giuseppe Marineo, the Italian professor who invented the Calmare Scrambler, has cancelled an agreement with Competitive Technologies, Inc. (OTC: CTTC.PK ) that gives the Connecticut company the exclusive sales and distribution rights to the device in North America.
The Scrambler uses electricity to block pain signals in patients with chronic neuropathic pain
In a statement, Marineo said he was cancelling the agreement because the board of directors for Competitive Technologies had approved a “self-serving resolution” that declared a 2012 amendment to the agreement null and void.
The company also said it would begin marketing the Scrambler in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Marineo said he would “take all steps necessary” to protect the patent and other intellectual property rights to Scrambler technology from any unauthorized use.
Conrad Mir, the CEO of Competitive Technologies, called Marineo’s actions “irrelevant in the grand scheme of things” and said the company would continue to market the Scrambler.
“At the end of the day, he’s trying to find a way to get paid beyond what’s he’s already been paid,” Mir told National Pain Report. “He’s trying to find a way to get a better deal.”
Mir said Marineo already receives a royalty for sales of his invention and characterized the cancellation of the agreement with Competitive Technologies as an attempt to get more money from the company as it expands its sales area.
“He’s referencing an agreement that he never signed. He can’t cancel an agreement that he’s never signed,” said Mir.
Mir said the company’s board of directors cancelled the amendment to its agreement with Marineo to address a 70% loss in gross revenue, from $3.33 million in 2010 to $913,000 in 2011. The company blamed the decline on the terms of the amendment, which did not allow it to expand its sales territory beyond North America.
Mir said he was not aware of any legal action that Marineo has taken in either Europe or the U.S. to prevent the company from selling or leasing the Scrambler.
“He has my number. We speak often and our next scheduled call is next month,” said Mir. “Now he’s responded this way. Maybe he’s trying to come up with a better topic for our next conference call.”