ClearCorrect and Align Technology agree to settle long-standing patent dispute out of court
- Companies agree to settle Align’s pending allegations of patent infringement and ClearCorrect’s pending invalidity actions.
- Settlement costs largely provisioned for when the Straumann Group acquired ClearCorrect.
- Straumann and Align sign non-binding Letter of Intent to explore development and distribution of an iTero ® intraoral scanner integrated in the Straumann Group’s CARES ® /DWOS ® workflow.
28 March 2019: ClearCorrect, a Straumann Group company, has agreed to pay USD 35m to settle its longstanding patent dispute with Align Technology out of court, and to withdraw its assertions that certain Align patents in the US and Brazil are invalid. In return, Align has agreed to drop all pending infringement litigation against the company. This litigation began several years before ClearCorrect was acquired by the Straumann Group, and the settlement amount is largely provisioned for in the acquisition agreement. It is expected to result in a one-time expense of approximately CHF 8 million for the Straumann Group in the first half of 2019.
‘We are very pleased that ClearCorrect has finally been able to settle its dispute and can look forward to growing its international clear-aligner business,’ said Dr. Andreas Meier, General Counsel of the Straumann Group.
As part of the settlement, Straumann and Align have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent for the parties to explore the development and distribution of a version of Align’s iTero intraoral scanner that would be fully integrated into the Straumann/Dental Wings DWOS workflow. Such a device would offer users access to the Straumann CARES digital workflow, Straumann’s CoDiagnostiX® guided implant surgery and the ClearCorrect platform. Additionally the parties are considering exploring the possibility of offering existing iTero users access to Straumann’s prosthetic and surgical planning workflows. iTero is a high-end intra-oral scanner that could complement the Group’s existing intra-oral scanner range, which includes the 3Shape TRIOS® 2, 3 and 4 as well as the Dental Wings Virtuo Vivo™.
‘This agreement brings an end to a series of patent disputes and allows both Align and Straumann to avoid the expense, uncertainty and distraction of continued litigation,’ said Roger George, Align Technology senior vice president and general counsel. ‘We can now turn our attention to the potential of an exciting new channel for iTero scanners and a digital integration partner in Straumann, recognized as a world leader in digital dentistry.’
If the companies fail to enter into the potential development and distribution agreement within 90 days of the effective date of the settlement (or as mutually extended by the parties), Straumann will pay Align an additional USD 16 million. Other terms of the settlement agreement are confidential.
ClearCorrect’s clear aligners have been discreetly correcting simple and complex malocclusion cases since 2006. ClearCorrect offers a flexible and convenient clear aligner system to thousands of doctors around the world and has been a proud member of the Straumann Group since 2017.
About Align Technology, Inc.
Align Technology designs and manufactures the Invisalign® system, the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, and iTero® intraoral scanners and services. Align’s products help dental professionals achieve the clinical results they expect and to deliver effective, cutting-edge dental options to their patients. Visit www.aligntech.com for more information.
The Straumann Group (SIX: STMN) is a global leader in tooth replacement and orthodontic solutions that restore smiles and confidence. It unites global and international brands that stand for excellence, innovation and quality in replacement, corrective and digital dentistry, including Straumann, Neodent, Anthogyr, Medentika, ClearCorrect, Dental Wings, and other fully/partly owned companies and partners. In collaboration with leading clinics, institutes and universities, the Group researches, develops, manufactures and supplies dental implants, instruments, CADCAM prosthetics, biomaterials and digital solutions for use in tooth replacement and restoration or to prevent tooth loss.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, the Group currently employs more than 6000 people worldwide and its products, solutions and services are available in more than 100 countries through a broad network of distribution subsidiaries and partners.