Healthcare Industry News:  IRIDEX 

Devices Litigation

 News Release - February 27, 2007

Court Rules Synergetics Infringes IRIDEX Patent

Jury to Decide Amount of Damages in Upcoming Trial

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 27 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- IRIDEX Corporation (Nasdaq: IRIX ) announced today that the Hon. Catherine Perry, United States District Judge, granted summary judgment to IRIDEX on its claim that Synergetics, Inc.'s adapter-based connector systems infringe 12 separate claims of IRIDEX's Patent No. 5,085,492. The suit, Case Number 05-CV-1916 CDP, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, was filed on October 19, 2005 and is scheduled for a jury trial on April 16, 2007. At that trial, the jury will be asked to award damages and decide whether Synergetics' infringement was willful, so that damages can be increased.

"We have been confident that the Synergetics product infringed IRIDEX's intellectual property," stated Barry G. Caldwell, president and CEO of IRIDEX. "Synergetics has repeatedly argued that its adapter products were noninfringing, but they have lost that battle today. Due to this ruling, Synergetics will now appear before the jury as an adjudicated infringer. We believe that this ruling means that our requests for triple damages and an injunction are more likely to be granted. The Synergetics announcement last week concerning a new motion is now dead on arrival. Obviously, we are very pleased with this outcome."

In its order, the Court also ruled that Synergetics' new connector system, which Synergetics only introduced after the litigation began, does not infringe. However, IRIDEX expects to prove at trial that this system, which depends on a dangling wire to work on an IRIDEX laser, is a commercial failure.

The Court previously granted summary judgment to IRIDEX on Synergetics' defense on the doctrine of repair. The Court also denied Synergetics' motion for summary judgment on the issues of laches and estoppel. The Court held that the jury may not hear arguments about any of these issues. Two summary judgment motions remain for the Court to decide.


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 disorders in the aesthetics market. IRIDEX products are sold in the United States through a direct sales force and internationally through a combination of a direct sales force and a network of approximately 97 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, 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, 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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