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Rival Dental Firm Lays Claim to Premier Laser's Technology


A rival dental products company says it holds patents for the type of laser technology that Premier Laser Systems Inc. recently got federal approval to begin selling.

American Dental Technologies Inc. in Southfield, Mich., said it holds the basic patents for the use of Erbium YAG lasers in the dental field. It also said its experience shows the technology has "serious limitations" compared with other dental systems.

Irvine-based Premier said in a statement Monday that it is confident it does not infringe any valid patents held by "disgruntled competitor" American Dental and will defend its position in court if necessary.

Premier rocketed to national fame earlier this month with the announcement that the Food and Drug Administration had cleared its dental laser system for use directly on teeth, to prepare cavities for filling.

The dental establishment heralded the news as revolutionary.

Premier's stock closed Monday at $11.375 a share, up 23 cents in Nasdaq trading. The stock has fallen since reaching a high of $16.125 after the FDA announcement.

Bob Dalton, American Dental's manager of marketing, declined to say if the company planned to file a patent infringement lawsuit against Premier, noting that infringement can occur only when a product is delivered to a customer.

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