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13 December 2018Americas

Invisalign creator sues competitor for patent infringement

Align Technology, a manufacturer of 3D digital scanners and founder of the orthodontic brand Invisalign, has filed a patent infringement suit against rival company 3Shape.

In a claim filed on Tuesday, December 11, at the US District Court for the District of Delaware, Align alleged that Danish company 3Shape is infringing five of its patents (US numbers 8,102,538; 9,848,958; 7,077,647; 7,156,661; and 6,371,761).

It described the infringement as “wilful and deliberate” with “the intention to compete” with Align.

The patents concern Align’s iTero scanners and Invisalign system.

The iTero scanner provides colour, 3D imaging of a patient’s teeth, creating a digital impression of the person’s mouth. It then uses software to improve, understand and manipulate this model to suggest an orthodontic treatment plan, namely Invisalign.

Invisalign is a clear aligner system which is used for treating the misalignment of teeth.

Align claimed that 3Shape’s Trios and Trios3 scanning systems directly compete with its own scanners and Invisalign system. The company’s filing stated that “Align is a leader in the digital dentistry industry, 3Shape is a follower”.

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The document alleged that 3Shape had previously seen Align’s patented technology and copied it when the two companies worked together. 3Shape had “ample” access to Align’s technology, the filing said, adding that 3Shape “got specific, detailed knowledge” from Align regarding structure, function, operation and commercial benefits of Align’s products during this time.

To back up this claim, the Invisalign creator said that in 2017, 3Shape carried out a risk assessment of Align’s patents. Align said this indicates that 3Shape was aware it was infringing the patents and “continues to do so, despite being aware of the risk of infringement”.

Align is seeking an injunction against 3Shape and damages.

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More on this story

Europe
6 August 2020   South Korean medical devices manufacturer Medit has prevailed in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Danish rival 3Shape in Germany.

More on this story

Europe
6 August 2020   South Korean medical devices manufacturer Medit has prevailed in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Danish rival 3Shape in Germany.

More on this story

Europe
6 August 2020   South Korean medical devices manufacturer Medit has prevailed in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Danish rival 3Shape in Germany.