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BIOLASE Responds to Patent Action
Thursday, April 08, 2010
iLaseTM Sales Are Moving Forward Worldwide
Irvine, CA -- BIOLASE Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLTI), the world's leading dental laser company, today announced that Discus Dental LLC and Zap Lasers LLC have filed a lawsuit against BIOLASE in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, alleging patent and trademark infringement, unfair trade practices, and unfair competition involving BIOLASE's iLase™ diode laser. The allegations are merely based on the shape of the iLase, and are not based at all on the groundbreaking functions of the laser unit itself. The lawsuit was filed by the plaintiffs without first contacting BIOLASE.
David M. Mulder, Chief Executive Officer of BIOLASE, stated, "We are very confident in the breadth of our intellectual property portfolio, and in the strength of our laser technology, and we intend to vigorously defend the Company against these allegations levied by Discus and Zap."
In March 2010, BIOLASE announced that it had received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its iLase diode laser, the world's first personal laser for dentists and hygienists, performing a full-range of minimally invasive soft-tissue and hygiene procedures. The iLase is the first completely self-contained, hand-held dental laser that includes the laser, user interface, battery power, and controls in a single, integrated handpiece with no foot pedals or cords.
Mulder continued, "The plaintiffs contend that the design of the iLase is likely to cause confusion among purchasers and potential purchasers of laser devices. But the plaintiffs' product is a diode laser with less than half the power, fewer features, of different physical design and size with a fixed angle tip versus our nine adjustable tips, and about double the price of the iLase -- so we dispute their allegations, and believe the plaintiffs may be having difficulty competing with the iLase. We do know that in January 2010, the FDA forced Zap to recall over 1,000 of their other dental lasers. In addition, while their product requires a cumbersome foot pedal to be used, the iLase is the only truly self-contained laser unit with no foot pedal."
"We look forward to our day in court," continued Mulder, "and we are carefully exploring all options available to us, as the iLase has been in development since 2006. Our first iLase units are coming off the production line now, and we have been taking orders in the United States and around the world. As our European CE Mark was received prior to our FDA 510(k) clearance, most of the orders received to date are for international markets."
About BIOLASE Technology, Inc.
BIOLASE Technology, Inc. (http://www.biolase.com), the world's leading dental laser company, develops, manufactures and markets Waterlase technology and lasers and related products that advance the practice of dentistry and medicine. The Company's products incorporate patented and patent pending technologies designed to provide clinically superior performance with reduced pain and faster recovery times. BIOLASE's principal products are dental laser systems that perform a broad range of dental procedures, including cosmetic and complex surgical applications. Other products under development address ophthalmology, pain management and other medical and consumer markets.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of safe harbor provided by the Securities Reform Act of 1995 that are based on the current expectations and estimates by our management. These forward-looking statements can be identified through the use of words such as "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "may," "will," and variations of these words or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current, preliminary expectations and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from the statements contained herein, and are described in the Company's reports it files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual and quarterly reports. No undue reliance should be placed on forward-looking statements. Such information is subject to change, and we undertake no obligation to update such statements.
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