A Medical Device Daily

Nobel Biocare (Zurich, Switzerland/Yorba Linda, California) reported reaching the settlement of a lawsuit that it brought against Keystone Dental (Burlington, Massachusetts), in the Superior Court of Connecticut.

Nobel said that terms call for Keystone to pay it $2 million and that Keystone has agreed not "to lure or solicit" any Nobel employees through Feb. 1, 2009. Nobel said that Keystone also is required to destroy any Nobel "confidential and proprietary information in its or its employees' possession and represent that its employees will not use or disclose any marketing or sales materials licensed by and obtained" from Nobel.

Nobel filed its suit in 2007, claiming that Keystone hired Nobel sales and marketing employees who represented a full cross-section of its business and sales force and that it "aided and abetted" those employees to breach their non-competition and confidentiality agreements with Nobel.

The suit, seeking injunctive relief and compensatory and punitive damages, also charged that Keystone and some of its employees failed to return Nobel's proprietary information and used this information to develop competitive products and induce customers to terminate their relationships with Nobel.

"[W]here competition crosses the line into illegality we will use all legal means to protect our proprietary information and trade secrets," said Kevin Mosher, VP and general manager of Nobel's North American business.

Nobel develops esthetic dental solutions, marketed under various brands, reporting more than 2,500 employees and revenue of 1665.9 million in 2007, with six production sites in Sweden, the U.S., Japan and Israel

Keystone Dental makes replacement products for teeth.

In other legalities, Signalife (Studio City, California) reported that it has filed a counter-suit against Kenneth and Julie Vianale and 12 of what it called "the nation's largest brokerage houses," charging "conspiracy" to violate federal securities laws.

The law firm of Vianale & Vianale had filed a class action suit against the company on behalf of purchasers of Signalife securities, between Jan. 29, 2004, and April 11, 2008, alleging that the company has issued false statements about its ability to manufacture and market its Fidelity 100 Monitor System, the law firm calling the device a "supposedly wireless heart monitoring device" (Medical Device Daily, Sept. 3, 2008).

Signalife said that the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission has released data that the April selling of Signalife securities was not "a sell off" (as claimed, the company said, by certain of the defendants) but "a planned naked bear attack [coinciding] with a webcast at which the bona fides of the device were not discussed at all."

In addition to the alleged taking of stock via the alleged "naked shorting," the company said these actions resulted in injuries caused to those who did not have access "to the companies' revolutionary technologies as a consequence of the adverse impact on the company resulting from those actions."

The lawsuit states that despite the "unlawful naked short-selling," numerous lives have been saved through the use of the company's Fidelity 100, given the work that the company has been able to do . . . ."

The class action suit filed by Vianale & Vianale alleges that Signalife has had virtually no sales, and the company has never had a viable product. As a result, it said that the company's stock was artificially inflated and that its stock dropped on April 11, 2008, on volume of 3,752,100 shares, when it came to light that Signalife's Fidelity 100 monitor system was unsalable. It said the company recently reported its imminent delisting from Amex, and that its stock price has slumped to 6 cents.

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