Align Technology, Inc. Sues ClearCorrect for Making Clear Aligners Too Affordable
Published: Mar 02, 2011
HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - March 02, 2011) - ClearCorrect, LLC., a manufacturer of transparent orthodontic aligners, commonly known as clear braces or invisible braces, received notice that Align Technology, Inc. (the manufacturer of Invisalign®) filed lawsuits against ClearCorrect claiming patent infringement and that ClearCorrect's prices are too low.
In one filing, Align alleges ClearCorrect is unlawfully offering and selling products at prices below its average total cost of producing and distributing those products, claiming Align has "suffered and continues to suffer loss and damages" from ClearCorrect's low prices. Align's suit is based on a law that seeks to maintain fair and honest competition to protect smaller, independent retailers from the predatory practices of larger, more controlling competitors. As Align maintains a virtual-monopoly share of the relative market, its suit is clearly contrary to the intent of this law and obviously intended to protect Align's exorbitant prices.
"I never imagined that ClearCorrect would be sued for making a product too affordable for doctors and patients," said Dr. Willis Pumphrey, ClearCorrect founder and chairman, and a practicing Houston dentist. "We've simply created a business model that supports our purpose of making clear aligners more affordable. This suit only further demonstrates how out-of-touch Align has become with the needs of doctors who prefer superior and more affordable products for their patients."
In the second filing, Align alleges ClearCorrect is infringing Align's patents. ClearCorrect respects all valid intellectual property. On February 17, 2009, ClearCorrect took initiative to prove this by filing a declaratory judgment against Align, asserting that certain patents owned by Align were invalid and that ClearCorrect's clear aligner products and its processes did not infringe upon those patents. ClearCorrect voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit after Align stated that it had no intent to file a patent infringement lawsuit nor was it going to engage in any "scare the customer" tactics. It appears now, three years later, after thousands of doctors have switched to ClearCorrect due to its affordability and doctor-friendly approach, Align has changed its position.
"In previous litigation against Ormco, a federal court invalidated several of Align's patent claims," said ClearCorrect's legal counsel Mike Myers. "ClearCorrect will begin its defense where Ormco left off and ask the federal court to invalidate even more of Align's patent claims -- thereby opening the market to all who, like ClearCorrect, may offer superior and more affordable products for doctors and patients," Myers added.
About ClearCorrect, LLC
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, ClearCorrect was founded by dentists to serve the dental and orthodontic industry by providing a superior and more affordable clear aligner system. The company's modern, needs-based approach for serving doctors and patients has earned it a leadership position within the dental industry. For information about ClearCorrect, the company, and its products, please visit www.ClearCorrect.com or call 1-888-331-3323.