Carl Zeiss Meditec said today that it reached a favorable resolution to settle a lawsuit against Topcon subsidiaries regarding trade secrets.
The company’s suit against Topcon’s U.S.-based subsidiaries had been pending in the U.S. federal court for the Northern District of California. Zeiss said the settlement reinforces the protection of its trade secrets and “restores a level playing field for fair competition.”
In the suit, Zeiss asserted that Topcon illicitly obtained stolen company files containing highly confidential information. A court previously issued a preliminary injunction against Topcon. It then denied Topcon’s motion for summary judgment on Zeiss’ trade secret misappropriation claims. If not for the settlement, a jury trial was set to begin this month.
As part of the settlement, Topcon agreed to several concessions. It agreed to pay a substantial, undisclosed financial award to Zeiss’ U.S. subsidiary within 30 days. Additionally, Topcon agreed to destroy and not use any stolen Zeiss information within Topcon. It must return a Cirrus device and related software that was “improperly procured and wrongfully used” as well.
Topcon must also destroy all copies of source code for its HFA Extractor and Dicom Decoder software applications. Zeiss says the company developed these using stolen information. Topcon must also remove Dicom Decoders from customers worldwide who have versions of Topcon’s Harmony with that feature.
Additional terms include a permanent ban on using source code for HFA and Dicom to develop similar products. There’s also a two-year worldwide ban on Topcon regarding the future development or release of features equivalent to these offerings. Topcon also agreed to a consecutive two-year worldwide ban on the development of such features by any employee or consultant involved in this case, or by reverse engineering using Zeiss proprietary data.
“We have invested heavily over the years to earn our strong market position in ophthalmology and leadership in digital innovation,” said Euan S. Thomson, CEO of Carl Zeiss Meditec Inc. “Developing market-shaping healthcare innovations to improve patients’ lives is what we do at Carl Zeiss Meditec; it’s in our DNA. And we cannot tolerate theft of our technologies of any kind.”