The U.S. International Trade Commission reversed an initial ITC ruling that 3Shape had infringed on valid Align Technology patents related to intraoral scanner technology. 

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) reversed an initial ITC ruling that found that 3Shape had infringed on valid Align Technology Inc patents in the ongoing patent infringement lawsuits related to 3Shape’s TRIOS intraoral scanner. 

According to 3Shape, this final ruling, issued on November 17, 2020 in Investigation No. 1144, the “ITC found that 3Shape had not infringed on any valid Align patents, and thus, 3Shape has not committed any unfair acts as alleged by Align.” 

3Shape notes that in November, the ITC affirmed ALJ initial determination finding that 3Shape had not committed any unfair act and terminated in its entirety Investigation No. 1091. Prior to that, another ALJ ruled in 3Shape’s favor in Investigation No. 1090, finding that 3Shape did not infringe any valid Align patents. 

“We are pleased that the Commission has found no violation by 3Shape. Following 3Shape’s favorable outcomes in all three ITC Investigations Align initiated, this is yet another victory for 3Shape, innovation, and dental professionals,” says Jakob Just-Bomholt, CEO of 3Shape, in a press release. “Align has attempted to use ITC investigations to block 3Shape’s innovative products in the intraoral scanner market and has now completely failed in its attempt. At 3Shape, we believe in fair competition and in giving dental professionals and their patients choice. Unlike Align’s intraoral scanner, the 3Shape TRIOS scanner is an open platform allowing dentists, orthodontists, and patients to choose the best clear aligner treatment solution for each case while driving down costs. Align Technology’s behavior represents the opposite of how 3Shape sees the dental industry should evolve for the benefit of doctors and their patients.”

Meanwhile, Julie Coletti, Senior Vice President, chief legal, and regulatory officer for Align Technology, stated in a press release: 

“We respectfully disagree with the Commission’s reversal of the Administrative Law Judge’s determination and are evaluating our next steps in this matter, including possible reconsideration by the full Commission and/or an appeal to the Federal Circuit. We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting our patented inventions and are proud of our history of innovation, our over two billion dollars in investments in technology and the benefit that our innovations bring to patients and doctors. The ITC is a venue where domestic industry seeks exclusion orders prohibiting importation of infringing goods. We have also asserted more than 25 patents across 6 U.S. District Court cases, where we are seeking damages and injunctive relief for 3Shape’s infringement.”