Stereotactic biopsy suit heats up

October 7, 1992

Lorad Medical Systems and Fischer Imaging wielded charges andcountercharges last week during pretrial procedures for Fischer'sstereotactic-guided biopsy patent infringement suit (SCAN 4/8/92). Lorad fired the first public shot with release of a

Lorad Medical Systems and Fischer Imaging wielded charges andcountercharges last week during pretrial procedures for Fischer'sstereotactic-guided biopsy patent infringement suit (SCAN 4/8/92).

Lorad fired the first public shot with release of a statementthat Fischer Imaging has dropped two more of its patent claimsfiled against Lorad. Only two claims remain, down from the 16originally filed in April, Lorad said.

Withdrawing its patent claims one at a time is a way of droppingthe suit while saving face, according to Lorad.

"It's only a matter of time before this case is dismissed,"said Hal Kirshner, Lorad president.

Fischer countered with its own public statement discountingthe importance of the reduced number of claims. Narrowing thenumber of claims is common practice in patent suits as informationis reviewed during the discovery period, said Robert A. Cascella,executive vice president and CFO of Fischer.

Fischer initially cited five interrelated claims against Loradin its suit and reduced this to the two primary claims after reviewingLorad technical documentation, he said. These two claims, regardingelements of prone positioning, the stereotactic guided arm anddigital processing, had always been the essence of the patents,he said.

Lorad has made other claims about Fischer's image quality thatare not substantiated by comparative testing of the two systems,according to the Fischer statement. The company is consideringadditional nonpatent litigation against Lorad related to theseproduct claims, the company said.