Here at ClearCorrect, we strongly value openness and transparency. It’s important to us that the people who work with us know what we’re all about. It keeps us focused. It keeps us motivated. And it keeps us honest.
In that spirit of openness, I’m writing to let you know about some recent news. On February 28, 2011, we learned that Align Technology, Inc. (maker of Invisalign®) has filed two lawsuits against us, claiming that: 1) our prices are too low, and 2) we’re infringing their patents.
In their first filing, Align is suing us under California’s Unfair Practices Act, alleging that we sell our products for a price below our average production cost, with the purpose of "destroying competition in the market for clear aligner systems." Apparently, we’ve made aligners too affordable for Align to bear.
The truth is, we’re profitable. Our lab fees are lower than Align’s because we’ve always made affordability a priority. We constantly refine our manufacturing processes to improve quality and drive down costs. Working with our providers, we’ve created a business model that works, fair and square. It’s that simple.
Align’s second filing alleges patent infringement. I assure you we respect all valid intellectual property—we always have. In fact, we’re so confident that we don’t infringe any of Align’s valid patents, we filed a declaratory judgment against Align back in 2009. We wanted a judge to resolve this matter up front, so we could build our business without distractions. After Align said that they had no intent to sue us for patent infringement and would not engage in any “scare the customer” tactics, we voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit and moved on. As you can imagine, we were quite surprised when we found out they’ve decided to sue us anyway.
We’re as prepared now as we were two years ago to defend our position. And since Align is giving us the opportunity, we’re also going on the offensive. In another recent lawsuit, Ormco (maker of Red, White and Blue®) invalidated several of Align’s patent claims. We believe that many of the claims in the patents we’re accused of infringing are just as invalid. We’re taking up the battle right where Ormco left off, and we’re ready to go for years if we have to—we have the resources and backing to take it all the way.
We plan to be as open and transparent about this process as we can. I’m pleased to announce that you can follow along and share your thoughts on our new blog, Clearly. In the weeks to come, we plan to share a lot of new information here, such as our philosophy and approach to business, behind-the-scenes looks at how we do things, updates on the lawsuits, and previews of exciting things in the works.
Thanks for your support as we fight to defend your right to an affordable, doctor-friendly choice in clear aligners. We’re in this for the long haul, and we intend to win.