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Bausch & Lomb and Alcon Laboratories, Inc. Settle Eye Vitamin Patent Dispute.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Bausch & Lomb (NYSE:BOL) announces a settlement agreement ending a patent dispute relating to Alcon's ICAPS(R) AREDS product. The agreement establishes a cross-licensing relationship that permits Alcon to continue to sell its AREDS-based nutraceutical product worldwide, and grants Bausch & Lomb global rights under one or more Alcon patents. The confidential terms of the agreement were approved by Bausch & Lomb's licensor, the United States Public Health Service.

Bausch & Lomb filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Alcon in U.S. District Court in Rochester immediately after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent for the unique high-potency antioxidant and mineral formula in Bausch & Lomb's Ocuvite(R) PreserVision(TM), the only dietary supplement demonstrated to preserve eye health and vision in the National Eye Institute's landmark Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS).

Bausch & Lomb, which co-developed the formula with the NEI and supplied the tablets used in the 10-year ARED study, holds the worldwide patent rights to the AREDS formula under a license agreement with the National Institutes of Health and the United States Public Health Service.

Bausch & Lomb made the AREDS formulation available to consumers as Ocuvite PreserVision dietary supplements after the results of the ARED study were released in October 2001.

Bausch & Lomb Ocuvite PreserVision is the No. 1 eye vitamin recommended by vitreoretinal specialists, and is the No. 1 product in the U.S. eye vitamin market, according to ACNielsen. Bausch & Lomb, with its Ocuvite line of ocular nutritional supplements, is the leader in U.S. eye vitamins.

Bausch & Lomb is the eye health company, dedicated to perfecting vision and enhancing life for consumers around the world. Its core businesses include soft and rigid gas permeable contact lenses and lens care products, and ophthalmic surgical and pharmaceutical products. The Bausch & Lomb name is one of the best known and most respected healthcare brands in the world. Founded in 1853, the Company is headquartered in Rochester, New York. Bausch & Lomb's 2004 revenues were $2.2 billion; it employs approximately 12,400 people worldwide and its products are available in more than 100 countries. More information about the Company can be found on the Bausch & Lomb Web site at Copyright Bausch & Lomb.

Ocuvite and PreserVision are trademarks of Bausch & Lomb Incorporated.

ICAPS is a trademark of Alcon, Inc.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 18, 2005
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