Federal District Court Ruling Restarts CIBA Vision's Patent and Trademark Infringement Case Against Bausch & Lomb

Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from CIBA Vision Corporation

    ATLANTA, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- CIBA Vision Corporation announced today
 that its lawsuit against Bausch & Lomb for infringement of its extended wear
 contact lens patent and trademarks has been restarted by a ruling in the
 Gainesville, Georgia Federal District Court.  In the same ruling, the Court
 denied Bausch & Lomb's summary judgment motion concerning CIBA Vision's
 PureEyes(R) trademark.
     The lawsuit, which was originally filed in March 1999, claims that Bausch
 & Lomb's PureVision contact lenses infringe on CIBA Vision's patents that
 protect the company's breakthrough Focus(R) NIGHT & DAY(TM) product, a true
 extended wear contact lens with the highest oxygen permeability of any soft
 contact lens on the market today.  CIBA Vision is seeking to have the Court
 prohibit Bausch & Lomb from continuing to sell its infringing product.
     The patent case has been delayed because of Bausch & Lomb's attempts to
 invalidate CIBA Vision's four patents in four reexamination proceedings before
 the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).  After extensive review,
 the USPTO issued all four patents again, confirming the patents' validity and
 illustrating the pioneering nature of CIBA Vision's inventions.  Focus NIGHT &
 DAY is currently available in more than 40 countries and is pending approval
 from the U.S. FDA.
     "We are eager to move this case forward," said Scott Meece, vice president
 and general counsel for CIBA Vision.  "The U.S. Patent Office has reaffirmed
 the validity of our patents surrounding our extended wear lens technology and
 has denied Bausch & Lomb's requests to invalidate these patents.  We are
 confident that we will prevail and we are ready to vigorously enforce our
 various intellectual property rights in Court."
     The March 1999 lawsuit also claims that Bausch & Lomb's PureVision brand
 infringes on CIBA Vision's PureEyes(R) trademark.
     With worldwide headquarters in Atlanta, CIBA Vision is a global leader in
 research, development and manufacturing of optical and ophthalmic products and
 services, including contact lenses, lens care products and ophthalmic surgical
 products.  CIBA Vision products are available in more than 70 countries.  For
 more information, visit the CIBA Vision website at www.cibavision.com .
     CIBA Vision is the eye care unit of Novartis AG (NYSE:   NVS), a world
 leader in healthcare with core businesses in pharmaceuticals, consumer health,
 generics, eye care and animal health.  In 2000, the Group's ongoing businesses
 achieved sales of CHF 29.1 billion (USD 17.2 billion) and invested
 approximately CHF 4.0 billion (USD 2.4 billion) in R&D.  Headquartered in
 Basel, Switzerland, Novartis employs about 66,000 people and operates in more
 than 140 countries around the world. For further information, please consult
 www.novartis.com .
 
 

SOURCE CIBA Vision Corporation
    ATLANTA, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- CIBA Vision Corporation announced today
 that its lawsuit against Bausch & Lomb for infringement of its extended wear
 contact lens patent and trademarks has been restarted by a ruling in the
 Gainesville, Georgia Federal District Court.  In the same ruling, the Court
 denied Bausch & Lomb's summary judgment motion concerning CIBA Vision's
 PureEyes(R) trademark.
     The lawsuit, which was originally filed in March 1999, claims that Bausch
 & Lomb's PureVision contact lenses infringe on CIBA Vision's patents that
 protect the company's breakthrough Focus(R) NIGHT & DAY(TM) product, a true
 extended wear contact lens with the highest oxygen permeability of any soft
 contact lens on the market today.  CIBA Vision is seeking to have the Court
 prohibit Bausch & Lomb from continuing to sell its infringing product.
     The patent case has been delayed because of Bausch & Lomb's attempts to
 invalidate CIBA Vision's four patents in four reexamination proceedings before
 the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).  After extensive review,
 the USPTO issued all four patents again, confirming the patents' validity and
 illustrating the pioneering nature of CIBA Vision's inventions.  Focus NIGHT &
 DAY is currently available in more than 40 countries and is pending approval
 from the U.S. FDA.
     "We are eager to move this case forward," said Scott Meece, vice president
 and general counsel for CIBA Vision.  "The U.S. Patent Office has reaffirmed
 the validity of our patents surrounding our extended wear lens technology and
 has denied Bausch & Lomb's requests to invalidate these patents.  We are
 confident that we will prevail and we are ready to vigorously enforce our
 various intellectual property rights in Court."
     The March 1999 lawsuit also claims that Bausch & Lomb's PureVision brand
 infringes on CIBA Vision's PureEyes(R) trademark.
     With worldwide headquarters in Atlanta, CIBA Vision is a global leader in
 research, development and manufacturing of optical and ophthalmic products and
 services, including contact lenses, lens care products and ophthalmic surgical
 products.  CIBA Vision products are available in more than 70 countries.  For
 more information, visit the CIBA Vision website at www.cibavision.com .
     CIBA Vision is the eye care unit of Novartis AG (NYSE:   NVS), a world
 leader in healthcare with core businesses in pharmaceuticals, consumer health,
 generics, eye care and animal health.  In 2000, the Group's ongoing businesses
 achieved sales of CHF 29.1 billion (USD 17.2 billion) and invested
 approximately CHF 4.0 billion (USD 2.4 billion) in R&D.  Headquartered in
 Basel, Switzerland, Novartis employs about 66,000 people and operates in more
 than 140 countries around the world. For further information, please consult
 www.novartis.com .
 
 SOURCE  CIBA Vision Corporation

RELATED LINKS

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