Iridex Sues Quantel Medical over Patent, Trademark Infringement

January 12, 2018: By Joan McKenna

Legal issueIridex announced Jan. 9 that it has filed a lawsuit against Quantel Medical over patent and trademark infringement related to Iridex’ MicroPulse treatment.

MicroPulse laser therapy uses microsecond laser pulses as a treatment for retinal and glaucoma disease. It is intended as a tissue-sparing treatment “that allows the tissue to cool between laser pulses, minimizing or preventing tissue damage, reducing treatment risks, and improving patient comfort and safety,” according to Iridex.

In November 2012, Iridex granted France-based Quantel Medical a global license to US Patent No. 7,771,417 and the MicroPulse trademark, allowing Quantel to market and display Iridex’ MicroPulse treatment with Quantel lasers.

According to the complaint, Iridex, of Mountain View, California, notified Quantel on Jan. 26, 2017, of termination of the agreement for material breach, and Quantel agreed to stop selling products using the MicroPulse treatment but failed to do so.

Quantel responded Jan. 9 with a statement by Chairman and CEO Marc Le Flohic, saying Quantel respects the intellectual property rights of others and believes the lawsuit is without merit. LeFlohic added that Quantel intends to vigorously defend itself against the claims.

According to Iridex’ complaint, filed Jan. 8, Quantel sold product under the license, in particular, its Supra Scan 577 nm Multispot and SubLiminal Laser (SS577) and advertised the laser as a “true yellow 577 nm wavelength … multispot pattern scanning laser” with a “subthreshold treatment option” used to treat retinal disorders.

Iridex claims that Quantel USA continued to sell the SS577 after termination of the license and that Quantel’s EasyRet 577 nm laser currently being marketed is the same as the SS577 for all relevant purposes.

Iridex is seeking damages comparable with a reasonable royalty to compensate for lost profits and triple damages for infringement and attorney fees.

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