Letter from the CEO

Dear Customers, Scientists, and Partners,

It is an exciting time in spatial biology. Scientists today have access to a broad array of laboratory tools to help them map the universe of biology. At NanoString, we have a proud history of innovation and believe that our CosMx™ Spatial Molecular Imager, GeoMx® Digital Spatial Profiler, and AtoMx™ Spatial Informatics Platform represent the most powerful tools in spatial biology. We are committed to providing worldwide access to our suite of spatial biology platforms, so that scientists like you will catalyze the next revolution in biology. 

On May 17, 2023, in Germany, the Regional Court of Munich decided a patent litigation case against NanoString. News about this case has been promoted by a competitor seeking to reduce the access that scientists around the world have to the CosMx Spatial Molecular Imager by stoking fear about patent litigation.

The antidote for fear is knowledge, and I want to share with you why we are not worried and why the ongoing litigation in Germany should not influence your choice of spatial biology platforms.

  • NanoString can and will continue to market, sell, and service our entire portfolio of instruments globally.
  • The injunction allowed by the Munich court stems from unique policies and procedures for patent enforcement in Germany.
  • We expect to reverse the German injunction by invalidating the asserted patent following a hearing scheduled for May 2024.
  • We also expect to prevail in any related litigation in the United States and any other country.

Taking each of these in turn, I will elaborate.

In a country-specific decision, a court in Munich ruled that NanoString’s CosMx Spatial Molecular Imager (SMI), when used to detect RNA targets, infringes the German part of European patent 2794928B1. We believe that the court erred in its decision and we are appealing the decision. The limitation imposed by the Munich court’s ruling is on the use of CosMx SMI for RNA detection. The ruling has no impact on use of the CosMx instrument for protein analysis. More importantly, the ruling has no bearing on customers outside of Germany and is in no way “portable” to other jurisdictions or countries.

We believe that our competitor launched its patent campaign in Germany because it has a unique legal system that may grant injunctions without due consideration of the impact on competition or public access to science. Further, as was the case here, an injunction may be issued even before there is a ruling by the German Federal Patent Court on the validity of the patent in the lawsuit. We assure you that we are confident in our arguments that should lead the court to invalidate the patent in May 2024, resulting in the lifting of the injunction in Germany.

Our competitor is pursuing similar litigation in the United States and may attempt to do so elsewhere.  We are confident in our ability to prevail in the US case and anywhere else based on our strong arguments that we do not infringe and that the patents are invalid. Furthermore, we believe that the litigation in the US should not in any case result in an injunction against the sale of CosMx SMI due to the requirement for the court to weigh several factors, including harm from limiting competition and reducing the universe of innovative tools available for life science research. 

In closing, scientists should have the freedom to select the technology that best serves their research purposes without inaccurate marketing hype. Select the platform that is best for your science. We think you will be compelled by CosMx SMI and its capacity to generate more data per sample than any other platform. For more information about CosMx SMI, reach out to us here.


Brad Gray
President and CEO
NanoString Technologies, Inc.