- CIBA Sues
Ocular Sciences for CL-Patent Infringement
- ATLANTA, GA-- Nov 06, 2002 - CIBA Vision, the eyecare unit of Novartis, filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Ocular
Sciences in the Federal district court for the northern district of California, on behalf of its Wesley Jessen subsidiary.
CIBA's suit claims that Ocular's Biomedics Colors contact lenses
infringe five patents on CIBA color technology used in WJ's
Freshlook CLs. CIBA is seeking to have the court prohibit Ocular
Sciences from selling the Biomedics Colors lenses.
- FDA Issues Consumer Warning on
Cosmetic CLs, Will Seize Illegally
- WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Oct. 22, 2002 -The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a consumer warning about the
potential for serious eye injury or blindness from improper wear of "decorative contact lenses distributed without a prescription and
without proper fitting by an eyecare professional."
They're scary. They're cool. And they could take your sight away. Cheap costume contact lenses -- or good lenses used badly -- can
cause permanent eye damage, the FDA warns.
From cats' eyes to hypnotic spirals to 8-balls, the lenses give people a startling, otherworldly look. They're available from many
reputable makers of eyecare products. Cheap versions can be purchased at shadier places such as beach shops and flea markets.
Internet sites offer them to any and all.
Now the FDA vows a crackdown. Already there are reports of corneal ulcers from wearing these products too long. These ulcers can get
worse very quickly -- and leave a person blind, according to Lester M. Crawford, PhD, DVM, deputy commissioner of the FDA.
"Decorative contact lenses, like contact lenses intended for correcting vision, present serious risks to eye health if they are
distributed without a valid prescription and proper fitting by a qualified eyecare professional," Crawford says in a news release.
"FDA will aggressively use the full range of its statutory authorities to prevent the distribution of these potentially
dangerous products directly to consumers."
The FDA warns consumers to stop wearing contact lenses that have not been fitted by a professional. Even professionally fitted lenses
pose a risk if not properly sterilized, if worn too long, or if shared with other people.
Risks linked to decorative contact lenses include:
The FDA currently approves colored prescription contact lenses. Approval is given only when the product
is sterile. However, it's not entirely clear whether the FDA has the authority to prohibit lenses that are not sold as medical devices.
- Infection of the eye (conjunctivitis)
- Swelling of the eye (corneal edema)
- Allergic reactions
- Cuts or scrapes on the eye (corneal abrasion)
- Reduced ability to see, which could increase risk of accidents
The FDA announcement says that the agency "will seize decorative lenses currently on the market in violation of federal law." The FDA
also has issued an import alert telling U.S. Customs agents "to detain all decorative contact lenses presented at U.S. ports of
People who think they may have been injured by decorative contact lenses should contact their local FDA office's consumer complaint
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- CIBA Vision, CooperVision
Settle Contact-Lens Patent Lawsuit
- ATLANTA-- Oct. 20, 2002 -
CIBA Vision and CooperVision reached a settlement last week in a patent-infringement lawsuit
involving two of CIBA subsidiary Wesley Jessen's color-contact-lens technology patents. CIBA has agreed to license these and other
color-CL patents to CooperVision in return for a royalty and a cross-license of some of Cooper 's intellectual property rights. The
agreement will allow CooperVision to continue selling its existing cosmetic-lens products throughout the world.
Disposable CLs Cleared for Marketing in Japan
- LAKE FOREST, CA. -- Oct. 01, 2002 -The Cooper Companies, CooperVision contact-lens operation, has been notified by
its marketing partner in Japan, Rohto Pharmaceutical, that the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare has cleared Rohto to market
CooperVision's disposable spherical, aspheric, and toric CLs made from the "methafilcon A" polymer there. Rohto will market the
lenses in Japan under the Rohto IQ brand name. CooperVision will ship CLs to Rohto by January 31; Rohto will begin selling the
products lenses shortly after that.
- CIBA Vision
Files Suit Against Georgia CL Sellers
- ATLANTA, GA. -- Sep. 13, 2002 - CIBA Vision of Atlanta has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia here against two Georgia-based companies for "the widespread and illegal distribution and sale of contact lenses." The lawsuit,
filed against C&C Trading Company and MAS Wholesale & Retail, alleges that both companies sold and distributed color CLs without
prescriptions, without instructions for use, and without legally required medical advisories.