Alcon announced that it filed trademark infringement lawsuits in the Eastern District of New York against Lens.com, Allied Vision Group and National Lens LLC on Jan. 19.
The lawsuits involve Alcon’s Dailies AquaComfort Plus, O2 Optix and FreshLook ColorBlends contact lenses.
In separate lawsuits against Allied Vision Group (AVG) and National Lens, both based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Lens.com, based in Las Vegas, Alcon claims that these companies are selling Dailies AquaComfort Plus products with old packaging and also continuing to sell O2 Optix lenses, which Alcon discontinued in 2013.
Alcon also claims in the suit against AVG and National Lens that the defendants are selling FreshLook ColorBlends in a two-pack size on their national-lens.com website, a size that Alcon distributes only outside the U.S.
Alcon said that it changed the packaging for Dailies AquaComfort Plus in May 2017. Detailed insertion and removal instructions, a toll-free patient help line, and email and website addresses were added in addition to U.S.-specific lot numbers that could be used to track the product in the event of safety, efficacy or inaccuracy issues. The Lightstream Technology trademark and a U.S. flag were also added.
In the suit against Lens.com, Alcon said the company advertises Dailies AquaComfort Plus with the old packaging on lens.com as well as affiliated websites, including justlenses.com, contactsamerica.com, opticalshoppe.com and eurolens.com, but then ships the products with both the old and new packaging, as recently as Dec. 27, 2017.
Alcon claims in the AVG and National Lens suit that saveonlens.com, contactfill.com, contactlens.com and five websites operated by LD Vision continue to ship Dailies AquaComfort Plus in the old packaging.
Alcon stated that these violations harm the company’s goodwill, reputation and ability to monitor the supply chain in the U.S. The company also claims potential harm to patients who may receive contact lenses for which they do not have prescriptions or skip regular eye care appointments because they are able to fill expired prescriptions through resellers.
The company has asked that the defendants cease selling these products, detail how they have complied, disclose their suppliers, and provide restitution of revenues and benefits to Alcon.
Alcon, who has demanded a jury trial in both lawsuits, released a statement:
“We believe patients are best served when our products are transported, stored and distributed through clear, reliable channels, which can be achieved only when they are sold through authorized customers and distribution channels. These legal actions express Alcon’s commitment to deliver on that promise to meet the needs and expectations of both our contact lens customers and patients.”