Cutera Inc., a Brisbane, Calif.-based provider of laser and other light-based aesthetic systems for practitioners worldwide, announced that it will ask the court to set an early trial date at a Jan. 12 conference in its patent infringement action with Palomar Medical Technology Inc. A US District Court judge in Massachusetts ruled that there are still material facts in dispute between the two parties which should be resolved by a jury. In its lawsuit, Palomar is alleging that Cutera's laser-based hair-removal products infringe three of the 32 claims of one of its patents. Cutera says that not only do its products not infringe those patent claims, but the entire patent should be invalidated. . . . Manassas, Va.-based Aurora Flight Sciences says it will establish a research and development (R&D) center in Cambridge, Mass. A maker of unmanned aerial vehicle products, Aurora started as an offshoot of the MIT department of aeronautics and astronautics and is currently collaborating with Draper Laboratories to build the first aircraft to fly in another planet's atmosphere. The Cambridge R&D center will be Aurora's fourth major facility, and will focus on developing and exploiting technologies in areas such as vehicle robotics, manufacturing and innovative propulsion and sensors. Aurora has named Thomas Vaneck to head the new center as vice president of research and development. Prior to joining Aurora, Vaneck was the vice president of business development and director of advanced projects at AeroAstro Inc., a small space technology company. . . . Applied Imaging Corp. of San Jose, Calif., a maker of scanning and image analysis systems for genetics and pathology applications, announced that the company's board of directors elected CEO Robin Stracey as a board member. Stracey joined Applied Imaging in November 2003 as president and chief operating officer and was named CEO in January 2005. Prior to joining Applied Imaging, Stracey was vice president and GM of a chromatography and mass spectrometry business unit of Thermo Electron Corp.