SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 28, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Align Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:ALGN) today filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas against Houston-based ClearCorrect, Inc., and various related corporate entities, asserting ClearCorrect infringes Align patents by making, offering to sell, and selling its clear aligner therapy systems. Align also filed a second lawsuit against ClearCorrect in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco, alleging unlawful business practices in violation of the California Unfair Practices Act.
In the federal court action, Align asserts that ClearCorrect infringes eight Align patents in the production and sale of ClearCorrect aligners. The patents-in-suit cover a wide range of Align's processes and include patents previously challenged and validated by the United States Patent and Trademark Office through the patent re-examination process. Align is seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief against further infringement.
In the state court action, Align asserts ClearCorrect engages in unlawful business practices, specifically the unlawful offering and selling of its products at prices below ClearCorrect's average total cost of producing and distributing the products, thus damaging the marketplace for clear aligner systems. Align alleges these practices are in violation of the California Unfair Practices Act, California Business and Professions Code § 17043. Align is seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief."Laws prohibiting patent infringement are there to protect innovative companies like Align as well as the consumers who use our products," said Roger E. George, Align's vice president, legal affairs and general counsel. "We will take all necessary actions to protect Align and its shareholders from unlawful competitive practices, whether they come in the form of infringement of our intellectual property rights or in the form of disruptive and damaging business practices." About Align Technology, Inc. Align Technology designs, manufactures and markets Invisalign, a proprietary method for treating malocclusion, or the misalignment of teeth. Invisalign corrects malocclusion using a series of clear, nearly invisible, removable appliances that gently move teeth to a desired final position. Because it does not rely on the use of metal or ceramic brackets and wires, Invisalign significantly reduces the aesthetic and other limitations associated with braces. Invisalign is appropriate for treating adults and teens. Align Technology was founded in March 1997 and received FDA clearance to market Invisalign in 1998. Today, the Invisalign product family includes Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, Invisalign Assist, Invisalign Express, and Vivera Retainers.