A Medical Device Daily

Carl Zeiss Meditec AG (Jena, Germany) Carl Zeiss Meditec (Dublin, California) and their affiliates (collectively CZM), which are eye care solutions providers, were informed that a suit has been filed by Intralase (Irvine, California), claiming that CZM has “improperly used confidential and proprietary information of Intralase.”

CZN said it has not seen the suit, and the company only learned of the action through an Intralase press release issued Nov. 9. CZM said it is “surprised” by Intralase’s decision to file the legal action. Intralase reported that it filed the suit earlier this month (Medical Device Daily, Nov. 10, 2006).

“We have investigated Intralase’s allegations thoroughly and we have determined that these claims are completely baseless,” said Jim Taylor, president and CEO of Carl Zeiss Meditec. “CZM has not breached any agreement or other obligation to Intralase, nor has CZM otherwise acted improperly.”

“Not only do we find Intralase’s filing to be without merit, but it is also in direct contradiction to the values and culture of the entire Carl Zeiss organization,” continued Taylor. “We are a company that has always operated carefully and ethically, and one that respects its agreements with, and obligations to third parties, as well as any valid third party intellectual property rights.

“Carl Zeiss Meditec’s technical innovations in the relevant field have resulted from the expertise, creativity and efforts of its employees and claims to the contrary can not be supported by facts,” said Taylor. “This inappropriate action by Intralase is obviously timed to coincide with CZM’s demonstration of advanced femtosecond technology at this week’s AAO meeting, and is an obvious effort to disrupt that event. CZM will take all necessary steps to defend itself aggressively against these false claims.”

Carl Zeiss’ product line includes systems for the diagnosis and treatment of the four main diseases of the eye: vision defects (refraction), cataracts, glaucoma and retinal disorders.

In other legal news:

SoftMed Systems (Silver Spring, Maryland), a provider of healthcare information solutions, provided comment on a lawsuit filed this week against the company by Nuance Communications (Burlington, Massachusetts).

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Texarkana, Texas, alleges that SoftMed infringed upon patents covering centralized digital dictation systems.

“This lawsuit is without merit and we plan to mount a vigorous defense,” said Don Segal, CEO of SoftMed Systems. “ ... This lawsuit is a weak attempt by Nuance to slow our continued sales momentum. It is a testament to our leading solutions that Nuance is trying to use this legal ploy instead of competing with us on the merits of our products.”

“Nuance’s soon-to-expire patents reflect 20-year-old technologies and technologically, there is a large disparity between these and the requirements of today’s healthcare client,” said Segal. “For over 23 years, SoftMed Systems has delivered innovative products and world-class support to meet the needs of our growing customer base. This lawsuit will initiate any counter claims as deemed appropriate.”

SoftMed said it supports its customers’ goals of expediting chart completion, ensuring accurate and timely reimbursements, expediting document imaging, streamlining document creation, and maximizing payor compliance and organizational quality.