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PILKINGTON DENIES PATENT INFRINGEMENT CHARGES BY WESLEY-JESSEN

 SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Pilkington Barnes Hind (PBH), a world leader in the manufacture and marketing of premium contact lenses, stated today that its colored contact lens products do not infringe on patents held by a competitor, Wesley-Jessen Corp. of Chicago.
 PBH was responding to a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del., on June 14 by Wesley-Jessen's parent, Schering-Plough Corp. (NYSE: SGP) of Madison, N.J.
 "PBH's Natural Touch(TM) and Elegance(TM) colored contact lenses are the products of independent research and development conducted by PBH and covered by patents held by this business," explained Gary M. Mulloy, president and chief executive officer. "We will contest the litigation and fully expect to prevail."
 Edwin L. Harless, president of PBH-USA, which markets Natural Touch colored contact lenses in the United States, said the suit represents "an attempt by a manufacturer whose products are losing market share to stifle competition."
 A report released last month by Health Products Research, an independent auditing firm, showed that PBH's Natural touch had rapidly gained the second-largest share of new patient fits in colored contact lenses in the first three months of 1993, just six months after its U.S. launch.
 "That rapid gain in market share shows the strong public response we are seeing to Natural Touch colored contact lenses in the United States and the Elegance colored lenses in other parts of the world," Harless said. "This obviously has our competitors worried, and they should be. PBH has developed something quite different from the lenses being offered by its competitors -- a new colored contact lens that not only features a more comfortable design and softer, more natural-looking colors, but also a unique defining ring that adds to the definition of the colored portion of the eye. PBH's Natural Touch and Elegance lenses are the only products on the market today that feature this defining ring."
 -0- 6/23/93
 /CONTACT: Jeb Bing, director of public relations, of Pilkington Barnes Hind, 800-538-1680 or 408-773-5555, or home, 510-462-6817/
 (SGP)


CO: Pilkington Barnes Hind; Wesley-Jessen Corp.; Schering-Plough Corp. ST: California, Illinois, Delaware, New Jersey IN: MTC SU:

TM-SG -- SJ007 -- 5236 06/23/93 18:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 23, 1993
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