USPTO Rejects Patent Claims of Fourth and Final Lawsuit
ROUND ROCK, TX-- November 12, 2015
ClearCorrect, LLC, a leading U.S. manufacturer of clear aligners, has been successful once again in litigation brought against the Company by Align Technology, Inc. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit cleared the Company of any liability in the International Trade Commission (ITC) investigation relating to certain Align patents, ending the ITC action initiated by Align in 2012. This resolves the third unwarranted and unsuccessful lawsuit Align has brought against ClearCorrect since 2011.
The November 10th Appeals Court decision is the latest in a series of favorable decisions for ClearCorrect in both the ITC and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). “This decision solidifies the fact that the ITC is without jurisdiction to regulate electronic transmissions of data and all of the ITC’s rulings in the case are therefore null and void,” said Michael D. Myers, ClearCorrect’s attorney in the case and a partner with the Houston, Texas law firm McClanahan Myers Espey, LLP.
"While the ITC has no authority or jurisdiction to judge the validity of these patents, the USPTO certainly does, and it has found substantial questions exist in all of the Align patents that it has reviewed thus far despite Align’s oral arguments and written responses to the contrary. The input of this expert agency reinforces the strength of ClearCorrect’s insistence that we do not infringe any valid patent rights.” explains Scott A. McKeown, a partner with the Washington, DC law firm Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt who is leading ClearCorrect’s efforts at the USPTO. Align’s final case against ClearCorrect is a patent infringement case in a Texas federal court that has been dormant since 2012 pending the resolution of the ITC actions. That remaining case, however, faces substantial hurdles in light of the ongoing cancellation proceedings of the USPTO, which have significantly progressed:
- 6 of 9 patents asserted in the Texas suit are currently subject to USPTO cancellation
- The USPTO has agreed with ClearCorrect’s invalidity positions on over 75 claims across the first 6 patents
- The final 3 patents which ClearCorrect will be pursuing are largely overlapping in subject matter with the current challenges Align originally filed two lawsuits against the Company in 2011, followed a year later by two ITC actions.
One of the 2011 lawsuits was settled last month when Align voluntarily dropped its claims in exchange for ClearCorrect’s dismissal of its counterclaims. Align also settled the remaining ITC action through an agreement with ClearCorrect that was contingent on the appeal decision. With the appeal ruling in its favor this week, ClearCorrect has effectively resolved three of Align’s four litigations and expects to successfully resolve the final case.