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Alcon Settles Advanced Medical Patent Suit

July 11, 2006|From Bloomberg News

Swiss eye-care products maker Alcon Inc. agreed to pay $121 million to Advanced Medical Optics Inc. of Santa Ana to settle patent disputes over equipment and methods used in cataract surgeries, Advanced Medical said Monday.

Advanced Medical sued in 2003, claiming Alcon infringed patents awarded in 1997 and 2000 that cover the removal of clouded eye tissue through a needle using fluid and ultrasound. In one suit, a jury in Delaware awarded Advanced Medical $94.8 million. A judge later increased the award to $213.9 million.

"We can now leave the expense and problems of litigation behind us and focus on the business," said Steve Chesterman, a spokesman for Advanced Medical.

The settlement ensures that both companies can keep their cataract products on the market.

Shares of Alcon fell 64 cents to $98.10. Advanced Medical Optics shares were unchanged at $50.25.

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