U.S. Patent Office sides with ClearCorrect to reexamine Invisalign patent portfolio

USPTO finds significant questions of patentability exist relative to Align Technology’s patents and moves to cancel key claims

Round Rock, TX - June 17, 2015 - ClearCorrect, LLC, a leading manufacturer of clear aligners, announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has granted ClearCorrect’s request for reexamination of U.S. Patents 6,217,325 (the “’325 patent”); 8,070,487 (the “‘487 patent”); and 6,722,880 (the “‘880 patent”), assigned to Align Technology, Inc.

ClearCorrect’s evidence of unpatentability has been accepted by the USPTO across all challenged patents. A formal rejection of the claims of the ‘325 patent has been issued. Align must respond to this notice within two months’ time if reversal of the USPTO’s determination is to be pursued. The USPTO is set to issue formal rejections in the ‘487 and ‘880 patents in the weeks ahead based upon some of the same evidence.

“It has been our longstanding position that Align’s patents offered nothing new or novel given the historic inventions made by orthodontists over the years.” said Jarrett Pumphrey, CEO, ClearCorrect. “At ClearCorrect we are committed to promoting competition and using the USPTO to further true innovation and invention.”

ClearCorrect has filed four reexamination requests concerning patents held by Align Technology. Acceptance of the fourth request is expected in due course.

"The USPTO has found that the prior art submitted with these reexaminations is not only important in reassessing patentability of these patents, but in fact, renders the challenged claims unpatentable. We look forward to the ultimate cancellation of these claims," said Scott McKeown, a partner at Oblon and lead counsel for ClearCorrect’s reexamination effort.

“Align’s claims are all very similar and revolve around a core concept of orthodontic treatment that has existed for more than seven decades,” said Mark Gilbreth, attorney for ClearCorrect. “As such, all of the patent claims ClearCorrect has challenged—and those it intends to challenge in the future—are unpatentable by virtue of the same prior art.”

Interview: Dr. Meena Barsoum

Dr. Meena Barsoum tells us why ClearCorrect and CEREC fit so well together.


Submitting digital records

We know that in the past, some doctors have had trouble uploading some of their digital records through ClearComm because of file size and time-out limits. Because of this, when necessary, we have accepted files through email or file sharing platforms like DropBox, etc.

We are happy to announce that these issues with uploading digital records have been completely resolved! From this point forward there will be no need to send case submissions through email or any other file sharing platform. You are now able to upload practically any file size—even if your internet speed isn’t the fastest. 

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If you have any trouble, you can as always, contact us at 888-331-3323 for assistance.

Until next time...

New video: Dental & arch problems

Check out the latest video in our orthodontic training series, exploring the etiology (the causation of diseases and disorders as a subject of investigation) of malocclusion, starting with dental and arch problems.

Until next time...

New features for 2015

Earlier this year, we started offering ClearCorrect aligners in Canada and Australia.

In those countries, we took the opportunity to test some features that doctors have requested for a long time. Now we’re getting ready to share those improvements with our U.S. doctors.

We’re rolling out a host of changes over the next few months, including…

Free, no-committment case submission

Today, you pay in full upfront when you submit a case. Starting soon, you'll be able to submit your prescription and records for free and receive an animated color treatment setup with details of every step within a few days.

It's that easy. You don’t even have to select a case type (unless you want to). There's no cancellation fee, and you don't pay anything unless and until you approve the treatment setup.

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Bigger phases

Our phases have always been limited to four steps. Now that’s changing.

All of the aligners for Limited 6 and Limited 12 cases will ship up front, while aligners for Unlimited cases will be shipped in phases of up to 12 steps each.

The new default wear schedule will be two weeks per aligner, but you’ll be able to request a3-week, 2-week, or even 1-week wear schedule, and dispense as many aligners as you see fit at each appointment.

Faster Phase 1 delivery

Right now, we start work on a Starter Kit as soon as we get your records, and ship Phase 1 a few weeks later.

We've heard your feedback—when these changes go into effect, we’ll start making Phase 1 as soon as you approve the treatment setup. Instead of sending a separate shipment of starter aligners, the first set of aligners in Phase 1 will be staged with reduced movement to gently acclimate your patient to treatment. All of the goodies from the Starter Kit will be included with Phase 1 as well.

Simpler revisions

Currently, there is no set fee for requesting a revision, but you may have to pay for additional four-step phases for $240 each. The total cost varies depending on your case type, how many steps you've already received, and how many more steps you need. Complicating things further, you can’t be sure how many steps you'll need or how much it will cost at the time you request your revision.

We're making this easier. For active Limited 6 and Limited 12 cases, any revision will incur a flat fee of $120. As always, revisions and replacements for active Unlimited cases will be free.

Soon, you’ll even receive a treatment setup representing the exact changes planned for every revision.

And more…

Those are just a few of the improvements we're making over the next few months. Other changes include:

  • $25 discounts for cases submitted with intraoral scans
  • Volume discounts starting at 5 cases (of any type) per quarter
  • Dedicated technicians assigned to frequent users
  • More affordable retainers and replacements
  • Sequential step numbering
  • Support for alternate dental notation
  • More detailed tooth charts
  • Bundled shipments
  • A revamped support center

We plan to transition the first U.S. providers to the new terms & conditions within the next few weeks. We'll gradually tranistion more doctors until these changes are rolled out to everyone. Most of these changes won’t affect your existing cases—those will still be shipped in four-step phases on their current wear schedule, and revisions, replacements, and retainers for those cases will be handled under the existing terms & conditions.

Case evaluations and eval + setups will be discontinued, as those services are now included with every case at no additional charge. Lab fees for Limited 6 and Limited 12 cases will remain unchanged, while Unlimited lab fees will increase by $100. Some restrictions may apply—full details will be available in the updated terms & conditions once these changes roll out to you.

If you have any questions, give us a call at (888) 331-3323.

Dr. Ken Fischer on ClearCorrect

We recently sat down with Dr. Ken Fischer to see what he thinks about ClearCorrect.

Check out what he had to say below!

2015 workshop schedule

If you or someone you know is interested in learning about clear aligners (whether for the first time or just refreshing your knowledge), check out one of our upcoming workshops.

They're hosted by ClearCorrect founder Dr. Willis Pumphrey, who has over 2,000 clear aligner cases under his belt. The workshop is good for 8 hours of CE credit, and features interactive demonstrations covering a wide varitey of scenarios.

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Upcoming workshops include:

This one-day workshop is fast-paced, thorough, and hands-on. Dr. Pumphrey is an engaging host and is known for injecting humor into his workshops. After you're done, you'll know how to identify candidates for clear aligners, diagnose their needs, oversee their treatment, and more.;

We hope to see you at one of the workshops!

ClearCorrect is designated as an Approved PACE Program Provider by the Academy of General Dentistry. The formal continuing dental education programs of this program provider are accepted by AGD for Fellowship, Mastership and membership maintenance credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial board of dentistry or AGD endorsement. The current term of approval extends from 4/1/2015 to 3/31/2019. Provider ID 304173.

 
 

New Video: Ideal Occlusion

Here's the next video in ClearCorrect's orthodontic training series—Ideal Occlusion.

From Dr. Edward Angle's bite relationship classification system to Dr. Lawrence Andrews' six keys to ideal occlusion, you'll find out how to identify ideal occlusion. 

Check it out!

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ClearCorrect at the 2015 Florida Dental Convention

If you or someone you know has been wanting to attend a ClearCorrect training workshop, you can check out our schedule here. Or you can call us at 888-331-3323 and ask to speak with one of our representatives if you have any questions or would like to reserve your seat.  

If you’ll be in the southeastern US this summer, ClearCorrect founder Dr. Willis Pumphrey is presenting a course at the 2015 Florida Dental Association Convention on June 13.

We’d love to see you there!

ClearCorrect case study: Dr. Edward Davis

ClearCorrect provider Dr. Edward Davis, DDS recently wrote a case study for Orthotown on one of his ClearCorrect cases:

Anterior Open-Bite Treatment with Clear Aligners