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Keystone Dental to Pay Nobel Biocare $2 Million to Settle Unfair Competition, Trade Secret Violations, and Tortious Interference Lawsuit

YORBA LINDA, Calif., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Nobel Biocare announced today it has reached a favorable settlement of a lawsuit brought against Keystone Dental, Inc., a dental implant company funded by the multi-billion dollar private equity firm Warburg Pincus, in the Superior Court of Connecticut. The settlement terms provide for Keystone Dental to pay $2 million to Nobel Biocare and that Keystone Dental not hire or solicit any current Nobel Biocare employee through February 1, 2009. Keystone Dental is also required to arrange for the collection and destruction of Nobel Biocare confidential and proprietary information in its or its employees' possession and represent that its employees will not use or disclose any marketing or sales materials licensed by and obtained from Nobel Biocare.

"Nobel Biocare stands for fair competition, but where competition crosses the line into illegality we will use all legal means to protect our proprietary information and trade secrets," stated Kevin Mosher, Vice President and General Manager of Nobel Biocare's North American business.

Nobel Biocare filed its lawsuit in late 2007 claiming that Keystone Dental systematically targeted and hired Nobel Biocare's sales and marketing employees who represented a full cross-section of Nobel Biocare's business and sales force. According to Nobel Biocare's lawsuit, Keystone Dental, in an attempt to gain an unfair competitive advantage, deliberately aided and abetted those employees to breach their noncompetition and confidentiality agreements with Nobel Biocare. The lawsuit further alleged that Keystone Dental and some of its employees failed to return confidential and proprietary information belonging to Nobel Biocare and that they were unlawfully using and disclosing Nobel Biocare's information and trade secrets to develop competitive products for Keystone Dental and to induce customers to terminate their contractual or business relationships with Nobel Biocare.

Nobel Biocare's lawsuit alleged Uniform Trade Secrets Act and Connecticut's Unfair Trade Practices Act violations, unfair competition, breach of contract, civil conspiracy to commit the tort of conversion/ misappropriation, breach of fiduciary duties, breach of duty of loyalty, conversion, and tortious interference with contractual and business relations. The lawsuit sought injunctive relief and compensatory and punitive damages.

Nobel Biocare is a medical devices group and the world leader in innovative esthetic dental solutions with its brands NobelActive(TM), Branemark System(R), NobelReplace(TM), NobelSpeedy(TM), NobelPerfect(R), NobelDirect(R), Replace Select (dental implants), Procera(R) (individualized dental prosthetics), NobelGuide(TM) (complete patient rehabilitation program) and NobelSmile(TM) (patient education and awareness program). Nobel Biocare is a full solution provider for restorative esthetic dentistry, offering a wide range of innovative Crown & Bridge & Implant products, as well as training and education, patient information and clinically documented treatment concepts. Nobel Biocare has over 2,500 employees and recorded revenue of EUR 665.9 million in 2007. The Company is domiciled and headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Production takes place at six production sites located in Sweden, the US, Japan and Israel. Nobel Biocare has 37 direct sales organizations. The shares of the parent company Nobel Biocare Holding AG are listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange.

SOURCE Nobel Biocare
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