According to an announcement from Align Technology Inc, San Jose, Calif, the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of alleged patent infringement by Houston-based ClearCorrect Operating LLC and Pakistan-based ClearCorrect Pakistan Ltd. The ITC’s decision is based on a formal complaint filed by Align in March.

In the March complaint, Align asserted that ClearCorrect infringes on seven Align patents 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 complaint requests the ITC institute an immediate investigation and ultimately issue a cease and desist order prohibiting ClearCorrect from using the digital data representing orthodontic treatment that is imported into the United States and infringes Align’s patents. The complaint further asks the ITC to prohibit ClearCorrect from selling aligners manufactured using such treatment plans.

The ITC may issue an exclusionary order and/or cease and desist orders if the Commission determines that ClearCorrect has violated even one of the multiple patent claims included in Align’s complaint.

According to the Notice of Investigation issued by the ITC, within 45 days of instituting the investigation, the ITC will set a target date for completing the investigation.

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