Imaging and Detector Industry Report

Dec. 1, 2003
PerkinElmer, Amersham in patent dispute; FLIR to buy Indigo Systems for $190 million; Intel Raman system used for cancer research; MORE...

PerkinElmer, Amersham in patent dispute

PerkinElmer (Wellesley, MA) filed a lawsuit against Amersham Biosciences (Piscataway, NJ) alleging that Amersham is infringing on PerkinElmer's patent for imaging systems that use CCD-based optical imaging technology. The complaint comes two weeks after Amersham sued PerkinElmer for allegedly infringing two of Amersham's patents for optical technologies used to analyze compounds being screened for use in the development of new drugs.

The Amersham complaint alleges that PerkinElmer's ViewLux and Image FlashPlate products infringe on those patents and that the company continues to sell those products despite being advised that they infringe on Amersham's patents. The PerkinElmer suit alleges that Amersham's LEADseeker Multimodality Imaging System and IN Cell Analysis Systems infringe its patents.

FLIR to buy Indigo Systems for $190 million

FLIR Systems (Portland, OR) and Indigo Systems (Goleta, CA) have entered into a definitive agreement whereby FLIR will acquire Indigo Systems for $190 million in stock. Indigo security holders will receive cash consideration of approximately $165 million, and all outstanding Indigo stock options will be converted into options to purchase FLIR stock.

Indigo develops and supplies a wide range of infrared imaging products, including cooled and uncooled infrared detectors, camera cores, and finished cameras. FLIR Systems designs, manufactures, and markets thermal imaging and stabilized camera systems for thermography and imaging applications including condition monitoring, research and development, manufacturing process control, airborne observation and broadcast, search and rescue, drug interdiction, and surveillance and reconnaissance.

Indigo Systems has relocated into a larger facility in Goleta. After the merger with FLIR, Indigo Systems will remain in the Santa Barbara, CA, area and continue its design, engineering, and manufacturing activities.

Intel Raman system used for cancer research

Intel (Santa Clara, CA) and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, WA) are collaborating on a research effort to apply Intel's expertise in Raman spectroscopy to develop improved methods of studying, diagnosing, and preventing cancer. The Intel Raman Bioanalyzer System uses Raman spectroscopy to analyze subtle chemical compositions during the chip-fabrication process. Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center hope this technology, previously used to detect microscopic imperfections on silicon chips, will also help them identify proteins in human blood serum that foretell the susceptibility, presence, or prognosis of diseases such as cancer.

Srico wins optical-detection contract

Srico (Columbus, OH) has been awarded a U.S. Army Small Business Technology Transfer contract to develop new optical technology to improve signal transmission in chemical and biological detection systems. The contract is worth $100,000 for six months and is expected to lead to new laser technologies in second-harmonic generation and optical amplification. The University of Dayton will collaborate with Srico in this effort, working to improve the signal-to-noise ratio by 20 dB or more, which would more than triple the typical stand-off measurement distance.

Also in the news . . .

Color Kinetics (Boston, MA), a developer of intelligent LED-based illumination technologies, has been awarded a U.S. patent (6,624,597) covering the application of LED illumination for machine-vision systems. According to Color Kinetics, controlling the lighting conditions in machine-vision systems is vital to their function; this patent, "Systems and Methods for Providing Illumination in Machine Vision Systems," covers technology that will allow systems to control and direct the lighting. . . . Aprilis (Maynard, MA), a manufacturer of holographic media and data storage systems, signed a global service and supply agreement with Dow Corning Photonics whereby Dow will supply Aprilis with materials for its proprietary holographic storage media. . . . Universal Display (Ewing, NJ), a developer of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technologies for flat-panel displays, lighting, and other optoelectronic applications, received a Phase II, $750,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program to continue research on novel high-performance organic light-emitting-device lighting sources. . . . The Beckman Laser Institute (Irvine, CA) at the University of California-Irvine is using a $7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to speed development of diffuse optical imaging for cancer detection and diagnosis and create laser-based imaging devices that complement conventional detection methods such as mammography and MRI.

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