According to SmileDirectClub, Candid Care Co launched its Candid Studios two years after its SmileShops first opened, wrongly taking advantage of SmileDirectClub’s extensive analysis, financial investment, experience, and effort in developing its teledentistry platform and business model. SmileDirectClub is now seeking damages and injunctive relief to prohibit Candid Care Co from operating its Candid Studios.
The SmileShop patent encompasses its concept and process, including scheduling of an appointment at a SmileShop, sending the scheduling confirmation to the customer, conducting the intraoral scan, generating a treatment plan, receiving approval of the treatment plan by a licensed dentist or orthodontist, producing aligners in accordance with the treatment plan, and sending those aligners to the customer.
“The receipt of the patent to protect our intellectual property surrounding our customer-oriented care model is an important milestone for our company and validates all of the hard work we have put into developing an industry-leading and innovative telehealth platform that enables a customer-focused remote dentistry experience,” said David Katzman, CEO of SmileDirectClub.
“We are now able to better defend ourselves against copycat models, including Candid, who have built entire companies by directly replicating our successful teledentistry platform. We will aggressively defend our business, our technology, and our customer experience,” said Katzman.
The patent, US Patent No 10,636,522, ensures that no clear aligner competitor will be able to duplicate SmileDirectClub’s model for 18 years, the company said.
“This patent designation is a significant validation of our unique customer-oriented care model and expands our category ownership, including the manufacturing and retail experience,” said Katzman.
SmileDirectClub also is making plans to slowly reopen its SmileShops beginning in May in the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Ireland as local governments begin to lift business restrictions. It says it will supply its SmileShop team members with face shields and other personal protective equipment along with staggered appointment times, temperature scans, and other social distancing measures.
“We look forward to welcoming customers back to our SmileShops at the earliest and safest possible time,” Katzman said.
Candid Care Co had not yet responded to a request for comment on the complaint by the time of publication.