Thursday, September 18, 2008

BIOLASE Countersues Reseller of Modified Lasers

A press release from Biolase, makers of the Waterlase and Waterlase MD:

IRVINE, CA, Sep 15, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- BIOLASE Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLTI), the world's leading dental laser company, today filed a counterclaim lawsuit against Indianapolis, IN-based National Laser Technology (NLT), alleging violations of FDA regulations, federal trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition and false advertising in a suit involving a range of alleged business practices and market access for dental lasers.

"BIOLASE is a respected company in the dentistry industry, and we will vigorously defend our reputation against what we believe is unfair business practices by competitors," said Chief Executive Officer Jake St. Philip. "This suit is about patient safety, fairness and truthful product promotion."

The issue stems from a lawsuit in which NLT, as plaintiff, accused BIOLASE of coercing dentists into purchasing products from BIOLASE rather than from NLT. NLT also accused BIOLASE of monopolizing an alleged market for hard tissue dental lasers. BIOLASE has formally denied these allegations, and asserted its own counterclaims against NLT for unlawful conduct.

BIOLASE's counterclaims allege that NLT has violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act by modifying and reselling BIOLASE's products without complying with federal medical device regulations. By providing modifications that have not been cleared by the FDA, BIOLASE alleges that these changes could potentially place dentists and BIOLASE at risk of liability if patients are injured by a laser adulterated by NLT.

BIOLASE's counterclaims further allege that NLT intentionally infringed upon BIOLASE's federally registered trademarks by, among other things, unlawfully using the names "AMD Waterlase" and "AMDLase."

BIOLASE seeks a permanent injunction enjoining NLT from continuing to engage in any unlawful conduct. BIOLASE also seeks damages and costs. The lawsuit is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

"We believe that National Laser Technology has deliberately misled the public by suggesting an affiliation with BIOLASE that simply does not exist," St. Philip said. "Despite what NLT may be suggesting, there is no connection or association between NLT and BIOLASE. To be clear, NLT is not now and has never been an authorized dealer of BIOLASE products."

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