A Medical Device Daily
National Laser Technology (NLT; Indianapolis), a company that refurbishes and sells dental lasers to dentists across the country, has filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana against Biolase Technology (Irvine, California), seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
It charged that Biolase is damaging competition and affecting consumers in the hard-tissue dental laser market.
The complaint requests a preliminary and permanent injunction barring Biolase from engaging in any further anticompetitive conduct, from making false and misleading statements, and from retaliating against NLT.
The complaint alleges that Biolase, which has a market share of more than 85%, uses its monopoly power to coerce dentists to purchase products from Biolase at double the price offered by NLT, thus maintaining and increasing its monopoly.
NLT alleges that as part of a campaign to put the company out of business, Biolase threatens dentists by refusing to sell them laser tips and other necessary products if the dentists do business with NLT, and threatens to cut off trainers and other vendors who provide services to NLT customers.
The complaint also asserts that Biolase has made "false and misleading" statements to dentists about NLT's products.
"We have high-quality products to sell at low cost to compete with Biolase, but have been limited in our ability to provide these products to dentists because of the actions alleged in the complaint," said NLT CEO Alan Miller. "We reluctantly brought this case because these actions have caused significant harm to NLT and to dentists."
In a statement in response to the lawsuit, Biolase charged that NLT sells used Biolase lasers, but is not an authorized Biolase dealer.
"Biolase intends to defend the lawsuit vigorously, and will explore asserting appropriate claims against NLT," said Biolase CEO Jake St. Philip. "We cannot guarantee the safety, effectiveness or regulatory compliance of any used Biolase laser sold or modified by third parties, and we will continue to work hard to protect dentists and patients, which is of the utmost importance to us."