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2 COMPANIES SETTLE SUIT OVER RIGHTS TO HEART DEVICE

A lawsuit between Utah Medical Products Inc., 7043 S. 300 West, and Merit Medical Systems Inc., 79 W. 4500 South, over ownership rights to a system that monitors the pressure inside balloon catheters used to widen heart arteries has been settled.

As part of the settlement, Utah Medical will grant Merit Medical a non-exclusive license to its electronic inflation device patents. In exchange, Merit will pay a one-time license fee of $600,000 and a 5.75 percent continuing royalty, not to exceed $450,000 a year, on sales beginning Jan. 1, 1992.A formal license agreement and papers dismissing the lawsuit will be prepared in several days.

"We are very pleased with the resolution of this matter and look forward to ongoing business relationships with Merit Medical, said Evan Merrill, chief financial officer for Utah Medical. Filed last September, the lawsuit never got beyond the discovery stage.

Merit Medical claimed Utah Medical stole its secrets and later used the information to file its own patents on a similar system. Wm. Dean Wallace, Utah Medical president, said it was Merit Medical that stole Utah Medical's technology.

Further complicating the matter was the fact that Fred Lampropou-los, Merit Medical president, was a former Utah Medical president. He left the company in 1987 to form Merit Medical.