Part III Administrative Complaint
On June 4, 1999 an administrative law judge dismissed charges against VISX, a key developer of laser eye surgery equipment and technology, known as photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). According to the 1998 administrative complaint., VISX and Summit Technology, the only two firms legally able to market equipment for PRK, placed their competing patents in a patent pool and shared the proceeds each and every time a Summit or VISX laser was used. The administrative law judge also dismissed charges that VISX acquired a key patent by inequitable conduct and fraud on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, ruling that complaint counsel failed to present evidence that an act of fraud was committed since information was not willfully withheld from the patent office. A final order settled the price fixing allegations in the 1998 complaint. On February 7, 2001, the Commission dismissed its complaint after the U.S. patent and Trademark Office issued a Reexamination Certificate of U.S. Patent No. 5,108,388.