3Shape has received a favorable ruling in first instance from the German District Court of Düsseldorf in a patent infringement case it filed against Medit Corp. However, Medit notes that it disagrees with the decision and that it will appeal the ruling.
On January 9, the court ruled that Medit’s i500 intraoral scanner violates 3Shape’s European Patent no. 2 568 870 B1 on its hole-closing technology. With this ruling, all marketing, sales, and commercial use of the i500 in its current version is now illegal in Germany.
“We invest heavily in our innovative technologies, and over a third of our employees work in R&D functions. 3Shape’s scanning technologies are unique and fundamental to the TRIOS scanner’s high ratings among doctors. Therefore, we cannot allow competitors to copy our hard-earned technology breakthroughs or infringe our patents,” said Tais Clausen, 3Shape cofounder and co-CEO.
Medit, though, says that the court interpreted the patent very broadly. Also, Medit says, the German court system does not fully account for the patent’s validity. Medit has challenged that validity in a nullity action. With the interpretation now applied by the infringement court, Medit says it will show that the patent is not valid, so 3Shape’s claims are baseless.
In addition to Germany, the same European Patent no. 2 568 870 B1 also has been issued in Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Great Britain. Medit further notes that the judgment only pertains to Germany and has no effect in these other countries.
The judgment also only pertains to Medit and that partner companies are not a party to the case, Medit says. As 3Shape decided only to sue Medit, the judgment does not affect partners who are therefore not obligated to do anything ordered in the proceedings against Medit, Medit says.
Regardless of the outcome of the case, Medit believes it won’t have any impact on their product supply as the company will introduce an updated product this month with a changed design and the same features to overcome any patent concerns addressed in the decision.