- Alcon agreed to pay Johnson & Johnson $199 million to settle a dispute over laser-assisted cataract surgery devices.
- J&J accused Alcon in 2020 of infringing on 12 of its U.S. patents by selling the LenSx Laser System. J&J subsequently expanded the case to cover copyright infringement claims and began a parallel challenge to Alcon in Europe.
- With a trial set to start this month, Alcon reached an agreement to settle the case for far less than the $3.1 billion that J&J’s damages expert claimed the company could be owed.
J&J’s case expanded from claiming Alcon infringed patents to accusing the company of stealing electronic copies of the source code for its own iFS Laser eye surgery device. According to J&J, Alcon “incorporated at least 26,000 lines of that code wholesale into the LenSx computer program-including typos and dates from well before development of the LenSx began.”
Alcon vowed to “defend all of these cases vigorously” and hit back with its own patent infringement and invalidity claims against J&J. Now, the companies have agreed a settlement to resolve all pending legal proceedings.
“As part of the resolution of this matter, the parties have exchanged cross-licenses of certain intellectual property and other mutually agreed covenants and releases, and Alcon will make a one-time payment to J&J Surgical Vision, Inc. of USD 199 million for those rights and to resolve various worldwide intellectual property disputes relating to this matter,” Alcon wrote in a statement.
The settlement comes shortly before the trial was due to start and weeks after Alcon failed to persuade the court to block J&J’s damages expert from testifying at the trial about one of her key conclusions.
The expert concluded that J&J is entitled to “disgorge” Alcon’s profits from the sale of intraocular lenses. Alcon sold $3.1 billion in lenses to doctors who owned or leased a LenSx from 2011 to 2021.