Beckman Coulter, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in 1988. Beckman and Coulter combines two of the known brand names in laboratories. The Company adopted its current name in April 1998, changing from Beckman Instruments, Inc. to Beckman Coulter, Inc., to reflect the October 1997 acquisition of Coulter Corporation. The Company is a manufacturer of biomedical testing instrument systems, tests and supplies that simplify and automate laboratory processes. Spanning the biomedical testing continuum - from pioneering medical research and clinical trials to laboratory diagnostics and point-of-care testing - the Company's installed base of systems provides essential biomedical information to improve patient health and reduce the cost of care. The Company's inspiration is to improve patient health and reduce the cost of care with products that fall into two basic categories: Clinical Diagnostics and Life Science research instruments and tools. Clinical Diagnostics produces information physicians use to diagnose disease, make treatment decisions and monitor patients in hospitals and other critical care settings around the world. The clinical diagnostic customers include hospitals, physician's offices and reference laboratories. Central laboratories of mid- to large-size hospitals represent its main customer group. Life Science research instruments and tools are used by scientists to study complex biological problems including the causes of disease, identifying new therapies and testing new drugs. The Life Science customers include pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, universities, medical schools and research institutions. The Company encounters competition from many domestic and international manufacturers, with many of these companies participating in one or more parts of each of its market segments. Most of the Company's products are distributed by its own marketing, service and sales organizations in major markets. The Company relies on trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, know-how and confidentiality agreements to develop, maintain and strengthen our competitive position. Beckman Coulter's products and operations are subject to a number of federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations. All of its Clinical Diagnostics products and some of its Life Science products are classified as 'medical devices' under the United States Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.