Healthcare Industry News:  IRIDEX 

Devices Litigation

 News Release - April 26, 2006

Synergetics USA, Inc. Adds IRIDEX to Existing Patent Infringement Lawsuit

O'FALLON, Mo., April 26 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Synergetics USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: SURG ) announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Synergetics, Inc. added IRIDEX (IRIX) as a defendant in the Philadelphia-based patent infringement case against Peregrine Surgical, Ltd. and Innovatech Surgical, Inc. The lawsuit involves the infringement of U.S. patent number 6,984,230 issued to Synergetics, Inc. on January 10, 2006. The patent involves a second version of Synergetics' popular Directional Laser Probe which allows the surgeon to adjust the direction of the laser fiber while inside the eye.

"Unfortunately, this suit is an outgrowth of the Innovatech situation," said Gregg D. Scheller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Synergetics USA, Inc.

Innovatech is owned by Hurst and McGowan, who Synergetics successfully sued for trade-secret misappropriation, among other counts, last summer. Synergetics was awarded almost $2.4 million in that suit. IRIDEX distributes the Innovatech laser probe that is the subject of the infringement suit. Peregrine manufactures this probe for Innovatech.

"After unsuccessful attempts to resolve this dispute without litigation, I believe this is the only meaningful course of action available to Synergetics to stop IRIDEX's willful and blatant infringement of our patent, which covers one of our most popular products," added Mr. Scheller. "Synergetics will continue its practice of aggressively defending the company's intellectual property."

Synergetics and IRIDEX are also currently involved in a lawsuit pending in the Eastern District of Missouri relating to Synergetics' claims of false advertising, product disparagement and defamation, and IRIDEX's claim of patent infringement. IRIDEX has made public statements that it expects to obtain a substantial judgment against Synergetics as a result of its infringement claim.

According to Mr. Scheller, "While we believe that we have meritorious defenses to IRIDEX's claim, even if we were not successful in our defense, IRIDEX's estimate of damages lacks legal credibility and is inflated in light of Synergetics' historical sales of the allegedly infringing product."

The Company believes it is possible that IRIDEX's exposure on the counterclaims of false advertising, product disparagement and defamation would exceed any potential liability of Synergetics related to the infringement claim.

About Synergetics USA, Inc.

Synergetics USA, Inc. resulted from the September 2005 combination of Valley Forge Scientific Corp. and Synergetics, Inc., bringing together their respective unique capabilities in bipolar electrosurgical generators and design, and manufacture of microsurgical hand instruments. Synergetics USA, Inc. designs, manufactures and markets medical devices for use primarily in ophthalmic surgery and neurosurgery and for other healthcare applications. Its products are designed and manufactured to support micro or minimally invasive surgical procedures. In addition to its surgical devices and equipment, it designs and manufactures disposable and non-disposable supplies and accessories for use with such devices and equipment. It also manufactures and sells bipolar electrosurgical generators and other generators, based on its DualWave(TM) technology, and complementary instrumentation and disposable products for use in neurosurgery, spine surgery, pain control and in dental applications. Synergetics sells its products primarily to hospitals, clinics and surgeons in approximately 70 countries.

Forward-Looking Statements

Some statements in this release may be "forward-looking statements" for the purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "potential," "continue" or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of factors. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward- looking statements, including but not limited to: the effects of local and national economic, credit and capital market conditions on the economy in general, and on the medical device industry in particular, and the effects of foreign exchange rates and interest rates; the ability to timely and cost- effectively integrate the operations and management of Valley Forge and Synergetics following their merger transaction; the ability to realize the synergies and other perceived advantages resulting from the merger; the ability to retain and attract key personnel; the ability of Synergetics to successfully execute its business strategy; the extent and timing of market acceptance of new products or product indications; the ability of Synergetics to procure, maintain, enforce and defend its patents and proprietary know how; changes in laws, including increased tax rates, regulations or accounting standards, third-party relations and approvals, and decisions of courts, regulators and governmental bodies; the ability of Synergetics to continue to increase customer loyalty; the ability to recoup costs of capital investments through higher revenues; environmental restrictions, soil and water conditions, weather and other hazards, site access matters and building permit issues; the effects of environmental and structural building conditions relating to Synergetics' properties; acts of war or terrorism incidents; the effects of operating and market competition; and other important factors disclosed previously and from time to time in Synergetics' filings with the SEC. Synergetics undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Source: Synergetics

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