Published in Legal

Alcon reaches settlement agreement with Johnson & Johnson

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Alcon, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Surgical Vision, Inc. (J&J Vision Care) have agreed to resolve their legal dispute involving femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery devices, which includes Alcon’s LenSx device.

I need some background.

Alcon purchased LenSx Lasers in 2010, and with it, the LenSx device. J&J Vision sued Alcon in 2020 alleging that the LenSx femtosecond laser system violated 12 of its patents relating to laser use in cataract surgery as well as J&J’s CATALYS Precision Laser System.

In turn, Alcon filed patent infringement claims against J&J in the U.S. and Europe also relating to the CATALYS system. 

Anything else?

Just last month, a judge ruled that J&J’s surgical vision subsidiary could not seek profits that its CATALYS system allegedly lost sales to Alcon’s LenSx because it does not own the copyright protections that were asserted by three of its subsidiaries.

However, the judge also ruled that J& J could seek disgorgement (where a party who profits from illegal acts must give up any profits they made as a result of that illegal conduct) of Alcon’s $1.3 billion profits from the last 10+ years of selling intraocular lenses (IOLs) used with LenSx systems in order to replace the eye’s natural lens that is removed during cataract surgery.

How would they do that?

J&J would have had to show a causal relationship with the alleged infringement of Alcon as well as prove Alcon’s gross revenue made from that infringement.

Alcon then would have had to provide evidence of expense deductions and of any profit portions that came from something other than J&J’s copyrighted property.

So what does the settlement actually include?

Both companies have agreed to exchange cross-licenses of certain intellectual properties and other mutually agreed covenants and releases.

Consequently, Alcon will make a one-time payment to J&J of $199 million to resolve the global intellectual property disputes.