Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Alcon in Suit Brought by Elenza over EAIOLs

April 6, 2018: By Joan McKenna

The Delaware Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Alcon in a suit brought by Elenza, a Virginia-based medical device company, over an electroactive intraocular lens (EAIOL) for cataract patients.

The court, ruling on an appeal by Elenza, said March 20 that it agreed with Delaware’s Superior Court that Elenza failed to support its claim that Texas-based Alcon improperly used or disclosed any of Elenza’s alleged trade secrets.

From 2008 to 2010, Elenza worked on EAIOL technology that used electric power and changes in eye pupil size to “trigger” focus. Alcon was also exploring EAIOL lenses. The two companies decided to work together.

On May 24, 2010, Elenza and Alcon signed a non-disclosure agreement, followed by a stock purchase agreement that included development milestones.

In December 2011, Alcon decided that Elenza had not met the first milestone, and the companies parted ways in July 2012, though they remained under the contractual obligations of the NDA.

Elenza was unable to find another investor and ceased operations in August 2013.

That same month, Alcon filed a patent application for an electro-active lens that automatically accommodates based on the movements of the eye’s ciliary muscle.

On March 20, 2014, Elenza filed a complaint against Alcon and claimed breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets.

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