Iridex Corp (Mountain View, Calif) announced that a US  district court judge has granted  a summary judgment to the company on its claim that Synergetics’ adapter-based connector systems infringe 12 separate claims of its US Patent 5,085,492. 

At trial, a jury will be asked to award damages and decide whether  the infringement by Synergetics (O’Fallon, Mo) was willful, so that damages can be increased.   

“We have been confident that the Synergetics product infringed Iridex’s intellectual  property,” says 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.”

In its order, the court also ruled that Synergetics’ connector system—introduced after the litigation began—does not infringe. However, during the trial, Iridex expects to prove 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  suit, in the US district Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, was filed on October 19, 2005, and is scheduled for a jury trial on April 16. 

[Iridex, February 27, 2007]