ClearCorrect and Align Technology Agree to Settle Long-Standing Patent Dispute out of Court

Posted: March 29, 2019
Edited by Orthotown staff

BASEL, Switzerland—ClearCorrect, a Straumann Group company, has agreed to pay $35 million to settle its longstanding patent dispute with Align Technology out of court, and to withdraw its assertions that certain Align patents in the U.S. and Brazil are invalid. In return, Align has agreed to drop all pending infringement litigation against the company.

This litigation began several years before ClearCorrect was acquired by the Straumann Group, and the settlement amount is largely provisioned for in the acquisition agreement. It is expected to result in a one-time expense of approximately $8 million for the Straumann Group in the first half of 2019.
 
"We are very pleased that ClearCorrect has finally been able to settle its dispute and can look forward to growing its international clear-aligner business," said Dr. Andreas Meier, general counsel of the Straumann Group.
 
As part of the settlement, Straumann and Align have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent for the parties to explore the development and distribution of a version of Align’s iTero intraoral scanner that would be fully integrated into the Straumann/Dental Wings DWOS workflow. Such a device would offer users access to the Straumann Cares digital workflow, Straumann’s CoDiagnostiX guided implant surgery and the ClearCorrect platform. Additionally the parties are considering exploring the possibility of offering existing iTero users access to Straumann’s prosthetic and surgical planning workflows. 
 
"This agreement brings an end to a series of patent disputes and allows both Align and Straumann to avoid the expense, uncertainty and distraction of continued litigation," said Roger George, Align Technology senior vice president and general counsel. "We can now turn our attention to the potential of an exciting new channel for iTero scanners and a digital integration partner in Straumann, recognized as a world leader in digital dentistry."
 
If the companies fail to enter into the potential development and distribution agreement within 90 days of the effective date of the settlement (or as mutually extended by the parties), Straumann will pay Align an additional $16 million. Other terms of the settlement agreement are confidential.

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