LaserSight turns table on Visx

Feb. 21, 2000
Question marks continue to surround the long-term viability of the lead position Visx (Santa Clara, CA) has had in the laser vision-correction business for some time.

Question marks continue to surround the long-term viability of the lead position Visx (Santa Clara, CA) has had in the laser vision-correction business for some time. In the latest turn of events, LaserSight (Winter Park, FL) announced that it has withdrawn from licensing negotiations with Visx and filed a patent-infringement lawsuit.

LaserSight is claiming noninfringement and invalidity of the Visx L'Esperance patent-the same patent it had been negotiating a license for. Visx had filed suit against LaserSight last November after LaserSight received FDA clearance for the LaserScan LSX excimer-laser system. At that time, Visx alleged that the LaserScan system infringes the L'Esperance patent, which covers an apparatus for ophthalmic surgery. The two companies then agreed to suspend that litigation and negotiate a US license agreement, even though LaserSight even then did not believe its system infringed the Visx patent. In fact, LaserSight now alleges that Visx is actually infringing one of its patents.—Kathy Kincade, contributing editor

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