GE and Agfa call off Wanchoo dispute

December 17, 1997

GE Medical Systems of Milwaukee and Agfa of Ridgefield Park, NJ, have reconciled their dispute over former Agfa PACS executive Vishal Wanchoo, who was hired by GE in November. GE and Agfa parent Bayer announced Dec. 17 that they have resolved the civil

GE Medical Systems of Milwaukee and Agfa of Ridgefield Park, NJ, have reconciled their dispute over former Agfa PACS executive Vishal Wanchoo, who was hired by GE in November. GE and Agfa parent Bayer announced Dec. 17 that they have resolved the civil lawsuit that Bayer filed seeking to prevent Wanchoo from disclosing Agfa trade secrets.

GE brought Wanchoo in to lead its Integrated Imaging Solutions PACS unit, replacing Anthony Lombardo, who has been named general manager of IIS Americas sales. Wanchoo previously had been vice president of marketing at Agfa and was attributed with being one of the players who helped build Agfa into a PACS powerhouse.

GE may have received more than it bargained for in hiring Wanchoo, however. Bayer's lawsuit sought a temporary restraining order to prevent Wanchoo from using Agfa trade secrets and confidential customer information. The legal imbroglio was the talk of the exhibit floor at this month's Radiological Society of North America meeting.

Both companies apparently decided it was better to settle than fight. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Agfa executive vice president Erhard Rittinghaus said the company was satisfied that the deal would protect its business interests.

GE and Agfa will continue to cooperate in ensuring product compatibility in medical imaging archiving systems. The settlement did not include a monetary payment.