A Medical Device Daily

Paradigm Medical Industries (Salt Lake City) said Thursday that an agreement has been completed to settle a lawsuit that Innovative Optics and Barton Dietrich Investments brought against the company and former executives Thomas Motter, Mark Miehle and John Hemmer.

The lawsuit was filed on July 10, 2003 in state court in Salt Lake City.

Under the terms of the settlement, U.S. Fire Insurance Co., which issued a directors and officers liability and company reimbursement policy to Paradigm for the period from July 10, 2002, to July 10, 2003, has agreed to pay Innovative Optics and Barton Dietrich Investments $367,500.

The payment is contingent upon the settlement of a federal court class-action lawsuit and a state court class-action lawsuit against the company and its former executives. Verbal agreements have been made to settle those suits, with written settlement agreements in the works.

“We are [pleased] to see the finalization of this settlement agreement and look forward to the conclusion of these suits,“ said Paradigm Medical CEO John Yoon.

The settlement agreement provides that U.S. Fire Insurance must not have exercised its option to terminate the settlement agreement. It has the option to terminate the agreement if the cumulative dollar value of the claims held by individuals or entities that opt out of the federal and state court class-action suits exceeds $250,000.

Paradigm Medical Industries manufactures surgical and diagnostic equipment and consumable products.

In other legalities, QLT (Vancouver, British Columbia) said the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts has issued a decision correcting the inventorship of the patent that is at issue in a lawsuit commenced by Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI; Boston) on May 1, 2001.

Judge Edward Harrington granted QLT's summary judgment motion to add QLT founder and scientific advisory board executive chair Dr. Julia Levy as a joint inventor of U.S. patent No. 6,225,303 (the '303 patent). With this ruling, QLT becomes a co-owner of the patent in question.

The lawsuit by MEEI alleges infringement of the '303 patent, originally issued to MEEI. The patent claims a method of treating unwanted choroidal neovasculature in a shortened treatment time using verteporfin.

Harrington wrote: “Based on the undisputed facts, the court rules as a matter of law that Dr. Levy significantly contributed to the conception of the upper end of the irradiance range claimed in the '303 patent. As such, the court orders that the '303 patent be corrected to include . . . Dr. Levy as a joint inventor.“

Paul Hastings, QLT's president and CEO, said, “This judgment validates our longstanding belief that Dr. Julia Levy was a key inventor of Visudyne therapy for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration and reinforces her role in helping more than 300,000 patients who have been treated with the therapy.“

The judgment follows the dismissal of all claims in a previous lawsuit filed by MEEI against QLT in 2002.

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