Propel Orthodontics LLC, Ossining, NY, announced last week that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office formally accepted a petition for Inter Partes Review (IPR) under the America Invents Act (AIA) to cancel all claims of a patent owned by Houston-based OrthoAccel Technologies Inc.

Passed by Congress, the AIA gives the Patent Office the authority to address the detrimental effect that certain patents can have on innovation. An IPR review is used by the Patent Office to review such patent issues.

“Although OrthoAccel Technologies has never accused Propel of infringing this patent, and we don’t, we nevertheless believe it’s important to get rid of the bad patents that OrthoAccel has used to erect barriers to competition in the market for vibratory orthodontic devices,” stated Bryce Way, CEO of Propel, in a press release. “We’re happy to be doing our part to improve patent quality among U.S. medical device patents,” added Way, who further noted that: “This is just our first AIA challenge to the AcceleDent® patents. For example, OrthoAccel recently filed a lawsuit alleging that Propel infringes one of its other patents. While we don’t infringe that patent, we believe that it is invalid and deserves review by the Patent Office.”

The Inter Partes Review proceeding is docketed as Case No. IPR2017-00239 before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and seeks to invalidate U.S. Patent No. 8,500,446, which lists OrthoAccel’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael K. Lowe, as the device’s inventor.