UPDATE 1 — Align Technology, Inc. said it filed six patent infringement lawsuits asserting 26 patents against 3Shape A/S, a Danish corporation, and a related US corporate entity, asserting that 3Shape’s Trios intraoral scanning system and Dental System software infringe Align patents.
Align said it filed two Section 337 complaints with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that 3Shape violates US trade laws by selling for importation and importing its infringing Trios intraoral scanning system and Dental System software.
3Shape responded by saying the lawsuits and infringement claims “are completely unfounded and without merit” and that 3Shape “will vigorously defend itself against such claims.”
Align Technology said: “Align’s ITC complaints seek cease and desist orders and exclusion orders prohibiting the importation of 3Shape’s Trios scanning system and Dental System software products into the US.
“Align also filed four separate complaints in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware alleging patent infringement by 3Shape’s Trios intraoral scanning system and Dental System software.
“All of these district court complaints seek monetary damages and injunctive relief against further infringement.”
Align general counsel Roger George said: “Over the past 20 years, Align has been at the forefront of digital dentistry evolution, and it is committed to continued innovation and technology development to facilitate the adoption of digital dentistry.
“The 26 patents we are asserting are integral components of our broad patent portfolio and represent key inventions and technologies fundamental to Align’s digital dentistry strategy.
“Align is a leader in the intraoral scanning systems and digital dentistry market and we will not allow competitors to copy our products and their features or infringe our patents.
“We will vigorously defend our intellectual property, whether it relates to clear aligners, dental scanners, or digital dentistry more broadly.
“We have strong legal claims against 3Shape and believe we will succeed both at the ITC and in the federal district court.”
3Shape responded in a statement: “We have … read the news of Align Technology’s lawsuits against 3Shape in the USA.
“The said lawsuit and infringement claims are completely unfounded and without merit. 3Shape will vigorously defend itself against such claims.
“For 3Shape, innovation has been the driving force of our company since we started seventeen years ago in a one-room apartment in Copenhagen, Denmark.
“We have been selling dental scanners since 2005 and the patented TRIOS intraoral scanning technologies since 2011.
“Because we’re innovators, we have the utmost respect for others’ patents and intellectual property.
“After all, it is our ability to create exciting new technologies that has made 3Shape a leader in the industry.
“This is supported by our more than 80 patent families. It is also backed by 3Shape becoming the choice of doctors and lab technicians around the world and our receiving numerous technology awards.
“3Shape continually engages other companies to work together to expand our open ecosystem of solutions for digital dentistry.
“We integrate with a wide range of great clear aligner systems, bracket manufacturers, implant systems, milling machines, 3D printers and scanners.
“We do not believe in limiting dental professionals to a single treatment option, workflow, or business model.
“A significant number of Align’s core patents expired earlier this year, and 3Shape is looking forward to increased competition within clear aligners for the benefit of doctors and their patients … “