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3M Files Patent Infringement Lawsuits In Germany To Protect Dental Ceramic Coloring Technology

As part of its ongoing program to license to the dental industry 3M's patented technology that enables the coloring of ceramic-based dental restorations, and to protect its technology against unlicensed users, 3M has filed two patent infringement lawsuits in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The first lawsuit is against Metoxit AG, and alleges infringement of 3M’s patent rights by coloring liquids sold under the brands Z-CAD TM FlowPen TM and Z-CAD TM Liquid HD, as well as zirconia CAD/CAM blocks sold under the brand Z-CAD TM.

The second lawsuit is against White Peaks Dental Systems GmbH & Co. KG and alleges infringement of 3M’s patent rights by coloring liquids sold under the brands CopranColor TM, CopranUltra-T Color TM and MonolithColor TM, as well as zirconia CAD/CAM blocks sold under the Copran Zr TM brand.

3M’s patented technology enables the coloring of unshaded ceramics by color-matching dental restorations to the natural color of patients’ teeth. 3M has licensed its patents to much of the dental industry, including Vita Zahnfabrik H. Rauter GmbH & Co. KG, and Vident, Inc., Dentsply Prosthetics U.S. LLC and Dentsply International Inc., Zirkonzahn GmbH, Wieland Dental + Technik GmbH & Co. KG, and Ivoclar Vivadent AG. Through these licensees, patients around the world enjoy the benefits of dental restorations matching the natural color of their teeth. 3M remains open to licensing this technology to other interested parties.

3M is committed to improving oral care through continuous R&D investments. The company's dental division, 3M ESPE, has been recognized as the most innovative dental company for the past eight years by the Anaheim Group. This distinction is awarded based on the number of patent filings, 510k clearances and new product introductions.

About 3M

3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops inventing. With $30 billion in sales, 3M employs 88,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.3M.com or follow @3MNews on Twitter.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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