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Iridex Sues Synergetics USA

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 20 -- Iridex Corp., a manufacturer of semiconductor-based laser systems for the ophthalmology and dermatology markets worldwide, filed suit yesterday against Synergetics USA Inc. of St. Charles, Mo. for infringement of Iridex's "Optical Fiber with Electrical Encoding" patent covering laser probe technology used in its EndoProbe products and other laser devices.

The suit was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and seeks monetary damages as well as a permanent injunction against Synergetics' sale of its Quick Disconnect laser probes and its Quick Disconnect laser probe adapter, as well as the manufacture of a variety of products Iridex says infringe on the patent.

Iridex's EndoProbe products are used during endophotocoagulation, a surgical procedure using a laser to treat intraocular structures. It is often used to treat diabetic retinopathy, retinal breaks and detachments.

"Over the years, Iridex has invested significantly in its intellectual property, as evidenced by the fact that we have 17 issued patents and at least three others in the application process," said Barry G. Caldwell, president and CEO of Iridex, yesterday. "Although discussions with Synergetics have been ongoing for some time regarding this infringement, those discussions have proven to be unproductive. As a result, we have filed this lawsuit today."

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