CAO Group sues Biolase over ezlase

CAO Group has filed a lawsuit against Biolase Technology in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, alleging patent infringement involving Biolase's ezlase diode laser.

The lawsuit, which was filed on April 24, 2012, involves CAO's U.S. Patent No. 7,485,116, which is directed toward a "laser system useful in medicine or dentistry." The patent was issued on February 3, 2009, with a filing date of September 22, 2004, according to the company's complaint against Biolase.

However, Biolase claims that the only claimed novelty of the patent pertains to how excessive fiber is stored, not to the actual design, features, and functions of the ezlase, according to a Biolase press release.

In early 2007, Biolase received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market the ezlase. In December 2008, the company received an additional 510(k) clearance for tooth whitening, and in April 2009, the company received a third 510(k) clearance for pain relief and therapy with application in sports medicine, orthopedics, physical therapy, and chiropractic medicine.

The company claims to have sold more than 5,000 ezlase devices to date.

CAO contends that the ezlase infringes on what appears to be a "narrow patent" that CAO "abandoned" in early 2008 and then later attempted to "revive," according to Biolase.

Federico Pignatelli, chairman and CEO of Biolase, said the company intends to "fully and vigorously" defend itself against any allegations levied by CAO that are without merit.

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