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CIBA Vision prevails against Bausch & Lomb in patent dispute.

CIBA Vision Corporation (Atlanta, GA; 770-418-4208), the eye care unit of Novartis AG (Basel, Switzerland), revealed another major victory in its ongoing patent disputes with Bausch & Lomb (Rochester, NY; 716-338-6000). The Patent and Trademark Office of the United States Department of Commerce reaffirmed the validity of CIBA Vision's patents surrounding its extended wear technology and has denied Bausch & Lomb's request for a reexamination of three CIBA Vision pioneer patents surrounding breakthroughs in extended wear lens technology.

"In rejecting Bausch & Lomb's request, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has reaffirmed the validity of our patents surrounding breakthrough discoveries for our new extended wear lens materials and our first commercial product, Focus NIGHT&DAY embodying these inventions," said Glen Bradley, CIBA Vision's chief executive officer. "We remain steadfast in our commitment to enforce these patents and protect our intellectual property. This ruling will accelerate our legal efforts against Bausch & Lomb to enforce our pioneer patents and Pure Eyes trademark rights."

CIBA Vision's Focus NIGHT&DAY lenses, the first high oxygen extended wear contact lenses to be commercially introduced, are available in Australia, Spain and Mexico for up to 30 nights' extended wear. With an oxygen transmissibility level of 175, Focus NIGHT&DAY extended wear lenses transmit the industry's highest amount of oxygen to the eye's cornea.

CIBA Vision's patent and trademark lawsuit against Bausch & Lomb is currently pending before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Gainesville. CIBA Vision won a dismissal of Bausch & Lomb's New York action on March 17, 1999.

CIBA Vision is a global leader in research, development and manufacturing of optical and ophthalmic products and services, including contact lenses, lens care products, and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals. CIBA Vision products are available in more than 70 countries. For more information, you are invited to visit the CIBA Vision website at .

CIBA Vision is the eye care unit of Novartis AG (Basel, Switzerland), a world leader in Life Sciences with core businesses in Healthcare, Agribusiness and Consumer Health (Nutrition and Self-Medication). In 1998, Novartis Group sales were USD 21.8 billion, of which USD 12.0 billion were in Healthcare, USD 5.8 billion in Agribusiness and USD 4.0 billion in Consumer Health. The group annually invests more than USD 2.5 billion in R&D. Novartis employs about 82,000 people and operates in over 140 countries around the world.
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Comment:CIBA Vision prevails against Bausch & Lomb in patent dispute.
Publication:BIOTECH Patent News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 1999
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