Lumenis Reaches Settlement With Syneron Medical Over Patent Dispute

Ido Alon
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Ido Alon

Lumenis has kept many an attorney's office in full employment over the years, having got itself into litigation battles with competitors, investors and former employees. CEO Avner Raz recently said he was aware how costly the legal battles were, and that he was acting to put an end to the various suits.

Yesterday, he could tick off one lawsuit that had continued since mid-2002 against Syneron Medical. The two Yokneam-based companies announced they had resolved their differences, which had led them through courts both in Israel and the United States.

Lumenis had claimed that Syneron, founded by former Lumenis workers, had used confidential data from the company to produce identical products. According to the settlement, Lumenis grants Syneron unlimited nonexclusive worldwide licenses for its patents relating to the use of incoherent light in aesthetic and medical applications, including all of its IPL-related patents. Syneron will pay Lumenis an up-front payment of $1.5 million, plus royalties.

Syneron CEO Moshe Mizrahy added that the two had agreed on a ceiling for the royalties due, which should, in the best case, reach only hundreds of thousands of dollars if sales reach tens of millions. This seemed to him a fair price, as "the legal costs alone would have cost us more than the royalties."

Syneron occupies offices near Lumenis in Yokneam, where it employs 20 people. Annual sales of the company's hair removal and skin rejuvenation product top $10 million, according to Mizrahy.

Lumenis develops and markets medical laser equipment. It has faced financial troubles in the past two years, and made a highly unusual step in filing its third quarter financials without the signatures of its accountants. Its ticker symbol was changed from LUME to LUMEE to reflect this filing delinquency. Its share gained 5 percent on the report of the settlement yesterday, bringing the company's market value to $65 million.

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