Align Technology Sues 3Shape for Patent Infringement

Dentistry Today


Align Technology has filed a new lawsuit against 3Shape A/S and 3Shape Trios A/S in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas alleging infringement of seven additional Align United States patents. The lawsuit alleges that 3Shape’s intraoral scanners, including the Trios 4, and associated products infringe Align’s patents.

“Align has brought this new lawsuit to protect its intellectual property rights and stop additional infringing acts by 3Shape. This new case includes several recently granted Align patents and addresses 3Shape’s infringement of those patents by core features of 3Shape’s Trios scanners and related software,” said Julie Coletti, Align Technology senior vice president, chief legal and regulatory officer.

“Align continues to expand its intellectual property portfolio and will periodically evaluate and consider assertion of additional patents against anyone infringing the intellectual property that results from our ongoing investment in innovation, including 3Shape if appropriate,” said Coletti.

In April 2020, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) determined that 3Shape’s Trios scanners infringe two of Align’s patents and found a violation of section 337.

The ALJ recommended an exclusion order and cease and desist order be entered against 3Shape’s unlawful importation of its intraoral scanners, Align Technology said. The ITC has set November 2, 2020, as its target date for completion of its investigation and issuance of a Final Determination.

Including this latest lawsuit, Align Technology is asserting more than 30 patents against 3Shape across six US Federal District Court cases and the ITC investigation. But Align also has asked that for the dismissal of its DC 1649 District Court Case, along with a patent from its DC 1950 case, giving up its assertion of eight patents against 3Shape in its Delaware litigation.

“While we are pleased that Align has backed out of a patent infringement case, their actions clearly show a continued policy of trying to suppress competitors through litigation attacks whether they have merit or not,” said Mette Carlstedt, general counsel and senior vice president of 3Shape.

Also according to 3Shape, Align’s allegations of infringement of seven patents continue this strategy of using litigation to attack 3Shape instead of competing in the marketplace. Further, 3Shape said, six of those seven patents belong to the same families of Align patents that have been determined to be invalid by one or more tribunals in the United States.

“This new case is just another example of anti-competitive litigation by Align and a waste of 3Shape’s and the court’s resources,” said Carlestedt. “Align’s previous attempts to bully 3Shape through litigation have so far been unsuccessful with the ITC finding in favor of 3Shape in two cases and the US Patent Office finding multiple of Align’s patents invalid.

In addition to defending itself against Align’s litigation, 3Shape said, it has a case pending against Align for infringement of 3Shape patents, 24 petitions to address the invalidity of a number of Align patents, and an antitrust lawsuit to address Align’s abuse of monopoly power. Its patent infringement and antitrust lawsuits are currently pending in Delaware.

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