Healthcare Industry News:  IRIDEX 

Devices Litigation

 News Release - July 10, 2006

IRIDEX Receives Positive Ruling in Patent Litigation Against Synergetics

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 10 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- IRIDEX Corporation (Nasdaq/NMS: IRIX ) announced today that the Court has ruled in favor of IRIDEX regarding claim construction for thirteen of fourteen patent terms involved in the patent infringement action it brought against Synergetics USA, Inc. Claim construction is the process in which a judge, during a "Markman" hearing, rules on the interpretation, definition and scope of patent claims which are under dispute in a patent litigation.

The suit, Case Number 05-CV-1916 CDP, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, filed on October 19, 2005, alleges that Synergetics infringes IRIDEX's U.S. Patent No. 5,085,492 entitled "Optical Fiber With Electrical Encoding." This intellectual property is embraced in the IRIDEX EndoProbeŽ products and other IRIDEX laser delivery devices.

On July 7, 2006, the Hon. Judge Catherine Perry, United States District Judge, issued her Claim Construction Ruling in which she agreed with IRIDEX on the meaning of thirteen of the fourteen patent terms at issue. The Court's ruling followed a "Markman" hearing, named after a 1995 ruling by the United States Supreme Court which provides that judges, rather than juries, are to determine the proper interpretation of patent claims.

This is significant because Synergetics tried to use the Markman hearing to narrow IRIDEX's patent, but Synergetics' arguments were rejected. In particular, the Court confirmed IRIDEX's position that its patent may cover a two-piece probe connector, such as the one sold by Synergetics. With respect to the fourteenth patent term, the Court's decision split the difference between IRIDEX's and Synergetics' positions. This portion of the Court's decision is not expected to have any negative effect on IRIDEX's case.

"Over the years, IRIDEX has invested significantly in its intellectual property and we are pleased that the Court recognized the breadth of the IRIDEX invention," said Barry G. Caldwell, President and CEO of IRIDEX. "We are gratified that our belief in the strength of our intellectual property has been validated by the Court's ruling. Naturally, this is but one step in the process, and there is always a risk associated with litigation. Nonetheless, we believe that Synergetics clearly infringes our patent, and this ruling brings us closer to an ultimate resolution."


IRIDEX Corporation is a leading worldwide provider of therapeutic based laser systems, disposable laser probes and delivery devices to treat eye diseases in ophthalmology and skin diseases in dermatology markets (also referred to as aesthetics). IRIDEX products are sold in the United States through a direct sales force and internationally through a network of 77 independent distributors into 107 countries. For further information, visit the Company's website at

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934, as amended, relating to the potential outcome of the ongoing patent infringement action between IRIDEX Corporation and Synergetics USA, Inc. Actual results could differ materially and adversely from those projected in the forward-looking statements based on, among other things, the court's final and interim decisions relating to the action and the filings of and negotiations, if any, between the Company and Synergetics USA, Inc. The Company is subject to additional risks and uncertainties which include, but may not necessarily be limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward- looking statements contained in this announcement are made as of this date and will not be updated.

Source: IRIDEX

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