Align Technology Inc, San Jose, Calif, has filed two complaints with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) against both ClearCorrect Operating LLC, Houston, and ClearCorrect Pakistan (Private) Ltd, Lahore, Pakistan. According to an announcement from Align, both complaints seek relief based on infringement of Align patents.

In the first complaint (the "Infringement Complaint"), Align asserts that ClearCorrect infringes seven Align patents, comprised of 280 claims, related to methods for planning and implementing orthodontic treatment using aligners. The complaint alleges that treatment-planning for ClearCorrect’s products is performed by ClearCorrect Pakistan at a facility in Lahore, Pakistan. The Infringement Complaint requests that the ITC immediately investigate and ultimately issue a cease and desist order prohibiting ClearCorrect from using the digital data representing orthodontic treatment that is imported into the US and infringes Align’s patents. Align also requests that the ITC prohibit ClearCorrect from selling aligners manufactured using such treatment plans. After Align files the Infringement Complaint, the ITC has 30 days to determine whether or not it will institute a formal investigation.

The second complaint (the "Enforcement Complaint") seeks enforcement of a prior Consent Order granted by the ITC on October 27, 2006, in the OrthoClear ITC action. The Enforcement Complaint seeks to remedy the continuing infringement of Align’s patents by ClearCorrect USA, ClearCorrect Pakistan, and certain former OrthoClear employees who now own, manage, and are employed by ClearCorrect Pakistan in Lahore, Pakistan. These individuals, previously directors and managers of OrthoClear’s operations in Pakistan, are, according to the complaint, currently violating the Consent Order issued in the OrthoClear matter by continuing to engage in infringing activities, only now on behalf of ClearCorrect Pakistan.

Align became aware of ClearCorrect’s operations in Pakistan during the discovery process in the Company’s federal patent infringement case against ClearCorrect filed last year. Previously, ClearCorrect had not publicly acknowledged that its aligner treatment-planning work is done in Pakistan or that it works with former OrthoClear employees there. Align is not aware of any former OrthoClear founders involved with ClearCorrect.

Align’s existing federal court patent infringement action against ClearCorrect in the Southern District of Texas, which alleges infringement of some of the same patents at issue in the ITC action, will continue unless stayed by the Court. In the federal court action, Align seeks monetary damages and an injunction in addition to the relief available from the ITC.

"Align has invested millions of dollars in developing its technology and intellectual property, and we will use every legal tool available to defend and protect that investment against infringement," said Roger E. George, Align’s vice president of legal affairs and general counsel.

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