Volcano sees mixed decision in dispute with St. Jude unit

The Superior Court of Massachusetts has ruled Volcano and Axsun Technologies violated a state law against engaging in unfair competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices, St. Jude announced Monday. The litigation was filed by St. Jude unit LightLab Imaging against Axsun, one of its suppliers of lasers. These lasers were key components of LightLab' optical coherence tomography (OCT) devices used to detect plaque buildup in coronary arteries, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The violations arose in connection with Volcano's acquisition of Axsun in 2008. The court also found that these violations were knowing and willful and entitle LightLab to recover attorneys' fees. Indeed, Volcano must pay $400,000 to St. Jude.

In its decision, the court found that Volcano viewed the Axsun acquisition as a means of "impeding the growth of a major competitor," and that there was a "scheme orchestrated by Volcano and implemented with Axsun's assistance" to seek to supply LightLab with a less effective laser, and that this would "adversely affect the marketability" of LightLab's imaging system, according to St. Jude.

Volcano also issued a statement, which pointed out that the court dismissed LightLab's remaining claims for trade secret misappropriation, as well as its request for injunctive relief. "We are pleased with this ruling," says Scott Huennekens, president and CEO of Volcano. "We intend to continue developing our OCT system, and can now do so with the reassurance that the Court concurs with our position."

Shares of Volcano fell 52 cents, or just nearly two percent, Monday to $26.26, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

- get the Volcano release
- read the St. Jude release
- see the MedCity News report
- check out the Union-Tribune story