Competition On Multiple Fronts

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Most trade disputes between medical device companies involve intellectual property (IP). While the conflict between LightLab and Volcano is relatively small compared to others in the medical device industry (e.g. check out last year’s $1.7B battle between Boston Scientific and J&J), the lessons to be learned are large.

Briefly, Volcano is developing a competing product to LightLab’s OCT system, and accelerated their program by purchasing LightLab’s laser supplier Axsun. The dispute involves allegations of patent infringement, unauthorized disclosure of confidential information, and contract performance issues.

At the end of January, both LightLab and Volcano issued press releases claiming victory in the most recent rulings. Eric Swanson, LightLab co-founder and editor of Optical Coherence Tomography News, just posted an entertaining summary of the recent court documents. Despite these rulings, the legal skirmishes will continue, and the only safe prediction is that the lawyers will be the winners.

What are the lessons learned?

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Medical Device Entrepreneur Readings

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Over the weekend, a friend asked what one book I would recommend to guide a first-time entrepreneur. I replied that just one book was not sufficient. My friend suggested Michael Porter‘s Competitive Strategy, which I agreed was an excellent choice. I also told him I’d address the question more fully on my blog, so that’s today’s post.

The Launching Tech Ventures Reading List

Fortunately, local entrepreneur and investor Ty Danco recently pointed out an amazing reading list for first time entrepreneurs. Harvard B-School Professor Tom Eisenmann is developing an MBA class called Launching Tech Ventures, and he posted his well-curated course reading list on his blog Platforms and Networks. As Ty says, the list makes me wish I was back in school.   While you’re working through the list, don’t skip Eisenmann’s earlier compendium of the web’s best advice for entrepreneurs.  For tech start-ups, Eisenmann’s recommendations are unsurpassed.

For medical device entrepreneurs, Eisenmann’s list isn’t quite enough, so I’ve put together a few suggestions from my own experience. Leave me a comment telling me what I missed or if you disagree with my choices.

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