IBA settles suit, all remaining claims dropped

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Optivus Proton Therapy, formerly Optivus Therapy, and Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) in Loma, Linda, Calif., have agreed to dismiss with prejudice all remaining claims asserted against cancer diagnosis equipment distributor Ion Beam Applications (IBA). The lawsuit has been pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California for five years.

In August 2002, when Optivus filed the lawsuit, it claimed that IBA violated federal and state unfair competition laws and intentionally interfered with Optivus’ prospective business because IBA’s proton beam therapy system infringed on five patents licensed to Optivus by LLUMC. The medical center became a co-plaintiff in 2002.

Optivus sought an injunction against the Belgium-based IBA, and also sought compensatory and punitive damages estimated to be in excess of $150 million for the patent claims and in excess of $300 million for the non-patent claims.

According to IBA, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero invalidated two of LLUMC’s asserted patents and dismissed all of Optivus’ non-patent claims in 2005. In November 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the invalidity of LLUMC’s patents and also affirmed the dismissal of the non-patent claims. Judge Otero had set a trial date for today, August 21.

In June 2007, IBA moved to dismiss the remaining patent claims for a lack of standing, but while those motions were pending the parties agreed to settle all remaining issues.

IBA reported it settled with Optivus for $1.25 million In turn, Optivus and LLUMC dismissed with prejudice all remaining claims, forever releasing IBA from any liability under the asserted claims.