NEWS OF 1999
(Mar. 30, 1999)
NEWS OF 1997
- FREMONT, CALIFORNIA, USA, January 21, 1999 -
Immediately following the approval by the FDA on December 17 of the NIDEK EC-5000 laser for the treatment of nearsightedness, VISX representatives began disseminating inaccurate information in an attempt to divert physicians away from purchasing the NIDEK system, according to Mr. Hiroshi Okada, Vice President and General Manager of NIDEK Inc., North America. NIDEK views this intrusion to Ophthalmologists as unacceptable.
Refractive Surgeons looking to purchase the NIDEK EC-5000 system report that VISX representatives are informing customers that NIDEK has been enjoined from selling this system. According to Mr. Okada, this is incorrect and misleading as no injunction has been filed.
On December 18, 1998 VISX did institute a suit against NIDEK regarding patent infringement. NIDEK has already prevailed in a similar suit against VISX in Great Britain where VISX patents were found to be either invalid or non-infringed. NIDEK fully expects that its position will be vindicated here in the United States as well, and is preparing a vigorous defense of this suit according to Mr. Okada.
Further, physicians have reported that VISX has threatened legal action should they purchase and use the EC-5000. According to NIDEK this is also incorrect as NIDEK fully supports its customers and offers a standard indemnification on its products to customers.
NIDEK views the threats from VISX as desperate, particularly since they are still under investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for unfair trade practices pertaining to royalties and user fees. The NIDEK EC-5000 is sold free from any fee-per-procedure charges. "With the issues of royalty income and sales revenue from product, the stakes are high. However, we at NIDEK don't feel that this is at all acceptable," says Mr. Okada.
Given the demand for alternative laser systems with lower operating costs, NIDEK will vigorously defend its position both in the marketplace and in the legal arena. The Company believes that this dispute is between the manufacturers, and therefore should not involve or implicate customers.
The NIDEK EC-5000 Excimer Laser System is a true scanning laser, with a rotating slit-scanning mechanism. This uniquely designed laser has been approved in the United States for correction of mild to moderate myopia up to -13.00 diopters.
For further information please contact Dr. Ray Sayano of NIDEK Technologies Inc., at 626-578-1351, or by fax, at 626-578-1327.
© Copyright 1999 Nidek