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A.O.A. Settles in Contact Lens Antitrust Suit

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- April 30, 2001--The American Optometric Association has agreed to a settlement with the attorneys general of 32 states and contact-lens wearers in the six-year-old contact-lens antitrust suit. Under terms of the settlement, the A.O.A. will pay $750,000 and is prohibited from participating in any activity that could be construed as encouraging behavior in restraint of trade, such as asking CL manufacturers to refuse to sell to any retail channel. Final resolution of the case is expected at a May 22 hearing. Vistakon remains a defendant in the case; CIBA Vision and Bausch & Lomb, also named as defendants, settled earlier.

Oakley Cracks Down on Counterfeiters Sunglasses Again

FOOTHILLS RANCH, CA.--Mach 30, 2001--Oakley continues its war on sunglass counterfeiters: in the first quarter of this year alone, Oakley's enforcement efforts resulted in 60 arrests worldwide and confiscation of more than 178,930 pairs of counterfeit sunglasses. Online, nearly 600 auctions for counterfeit items were finished and several sellers suspended for repeatedly listing auctions for counterfeit items or for using Oakley's copyrighted images.
In 2000, more than 345 individuals were arrested and charged with
violating Oakley's intellectual property rights; 736,751 pieces of counterfeit merchandise--primarily Plano sun-wear--were recovered. The company estimates more than $11 million in counterfeit product was seized last year.

Ocular Sciences Files Suit Against Internet Contact Lens Distributor
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA.--February 9, 2001--Ocular Sciences, Inc. announced today it filed an action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on February 6, 2001, against Weblens.net, a retailer of contact lenses over the internet. The lawsuit alleges that Weblens.net obtained Ocular's contact lenses in violation of Ocular's long-standing policy that it will sell its contact lenses only to authorized distributors and to eye-care practitioners who prescribe and sell the lenses to their patients. The lawsuit further alleges that Weblens.net removed the bar coding and other identifying material from the outside of the Ocular boxes, unsealed the boxes, and removed labeling from the individual lenses. As a result of this tampering, Weblens.net's actions prevent Ocular from tracking its products to the original buyers and remove from the individual lenses information that patients need, such as lens type, lens power, expiration date, and manufacturer's name and address. The lawsuit sets forth claims for relief based on unfair trade practices, tampering, and trademark infringement and seeks both injunctive relief and damages. 
      Ocular Sciences learned of Weblens.net's actions during its regular policing of the distribution channel. According to John Fruth, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ocular Sciences, the Company's distribution policies are designed around the concept that contact lenses are medical devices and should be obtained through eye-care practitioners who fit their patients with the lenses. "We understand that contact lenses are foreign bodies fitted only on healthy eyes and that the doctor, the patient, and Ocular take on the responsibility of keeping them healthy." Mr. Fruth continued, "Therefore, we believe that selling our products through eye-care practitioners best serves the health and safety needs of their patients. Patients need to return to their doctors for regular check-ups. Returning for their refills allows for further communications between the doctor and patient pertaining to problems the patient might be experiencing; an improper wearing schedule; or incorrect use of lens solutions. 
     Ocular Sciences, Inc., manufactures a broad line of high-quality, competitively priced soft contact lenses marketed directly to eye-care practitioners. Ocular's unique lens technology makes its lenses easier to handle and more comfortable to wear than those of leading competitors.
B&L Files Suit Against WJ, Its Board, and Ocular Science
ROCHESTER, N.Y.--September 20, 2000-- After commencing a tender offer to buy all outstanding shares of Wesley Jessen Vision Care Inc. for $34 cash per share, Bausch & Lomb has filed a lawsuit in the Court of Chancery of Delaware against Wesley Jessen, its board and Ocular Sciences Inc. The B&L’s complaint states that "the WJ/Ocular Sciences merger agreement was entered into in breach of the Wesley Jessen board’s fiduciary duties to act on a fully informed basis and to advance the best interests of Wesley Jessen shareholders," B&L said. According to the papers filed with the court, B&L seeks judicial relief to “enjoin the merger agreement that was the product of hasty and ill-informed decisions by the individual defendants, enjoin the various “protective” provisions in the merger agreement, and allow the shareholders of Wesley Jessen to make a free and unhindered choice between the Ocular merger and the Bausch & Lomb tender offer.” WJ had no comment regarding this matter. However, the company did file, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, slides of a presentation made on April 3 to certain stockholders relating to pending merger between WJ and Ocular Sciences, Inc. The slides outlined the previously announced synergies of the merged company, as well as detailed financial data favoring WJ’s pending merger with Ocular Sciences.
Johnson & Johnson Sued by Excalibur Owners.
ROANOKE, Va.--September 19, 2000--  Nine eyecare practitioners have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, claiming the Excalibur systems they purchased from Innotech-which J&J acquired in February 1997-are now useless because essential parts are unavailable. The suits, filed September 11 in Circuit Court here, allege breach of contract, unjust enrichment, false advertising, and fraud. When Innotech launched the Excalibur system in 1993, the company said it would help market and maintain the machines, and sell the consumables and machine parts needed to make the lenses. After J&J acquired Innotech, Innotech officials told Excalibur customers the company would continue to invest in the casting machines, having already sold more than 900 of them. However, in March 1999, three months after announcing plans to exit the in-office lens-casting business, J&J stopped selling Excalibur parts and consumables and set up a reimbursement program for owners of the system.
When some customers complained the offer wasn't enough, J&J negotiated with Optical Dynamics to sell some consumables to Excalibur users, and later gave customers optical tools and credits worth about $1,500.
J&J declined to comment on the pending litigation.
CIBA take acquisition of Wesley Jessen company
ATLANTA, GA. --November 9, 2000-- CIBA Vision, the eyecare unit of Novartis, completed its acquisition of Wesley Jessen Vision Care on October 3, 2000, having acquired 98 percent of Wesley Jessen's outstanding common stock through an offer that ended October 2, 2000. The transaction is valued at about $785 million US dollars.
WJ. is now an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Novartis. The combined CIBA-Wesley Jessen becomes the world's second largest contact lens company, with combined 1999 sales of $1.4 billion US dollars, according to Novartis.
"As a result of the combination, our customers can expect a steady flow of new products and unique vision-correction options," said Glen Bradley, CIBA Vision's CEO.

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