Palomar Patent Settlement with Syneron

Palomar Medical Technologies has reached a settlement with Syneron medical in two different patent lawsuits. The companies agreed to enter a non-exclusive licensing agreement which grants Syneron worldwide, irrevocable license to two Palomar patents on its professional laser hair removal technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, Syneron and its subsidiary Candela will pay $31 million to Palomar and issue a royalty free license on some Candela patents. Under a separate agreement, Palomar will grant Syneron a non exclusive license in the United States for two patents on consumer hair removal products which will pay royalties.

Syneron will also pay a 5% royalty on all US sales to Palomar, up to a pre set limit which was not disclosed. After that limit is reached, the royalty payments will increase to 6.5% up to another pre set limit, and will increase to 7.5% on all sales thereafter.

Palomar Medical Technologies is a top research and development firm in the area of laser-based aesthetic treatment systems, while Syneron Medical is a global leader in aesthetic device development based on its ELOS technology that utilizes the synergy between optical and electrical energies for aesthetic medical treatments.

The comprehensive patent settlement between the two companies ends the dispute on terms which are mutually agreeable to both parties. Syneron’s strong balance sheet will benefit from the terms of the fully paid up licensing agreement as it helps to eliminate their exposure to legal costs related to the issue going forward.

At the same time, it doesn’t require that the company make any additional payments on professional laser hair removal technology while boosting margins. Palomar also benefits from the agreement as the strength of its patents receives further confirmation. Palomar is a pioneer in the area of cosmetic laser products, having produced the first professional laser for hair removal in 1997.

Microsoft Granted Patent For Skype Eavesdropping

microsoft patentConvenient timing eh?  A new patent titled “Legal Intercept” has just been granted to the Redmond tech giant.  The patent claims include a method of eavesdropping on all VOIP related applications that before have been impossible to decode because of their high level of encryption.
Typical eavesdropping, or phone tapping, has been executed in the past by monitoring the calls when the touch a PSTN device.  This method does not work with modern P2P connections however, as they never exit from their encrypted digital format.

This patent has many critics citing the obvious privacy concerns, but the truth is Microsoft is simply capitalizing on governments’ legal requirement for a “back door”.  India for instance has threatened for the last year to completely ban Skype for not allowing authorities to perform surveillance on it’s encrypted lines.

The patent is not exclusive to Skype, or any VOIP application, it covers any program wherein a VOIP tunnel connection can be routed through a 3rd party recording system.  Since Microsoft already has multiple services that fall under this category, including it’s XBOX voice chat, the timing of the patent issuance and the acquisition of Skype is most likely pure coincidence.