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 infringementby 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 onseven Align patents related to methods for planning and implementingorthodontic treatment using aligners. The complaint alleges thattreatment-planning for ClearCorrect’s products is performed byClearCorrect Pakistan at a facility in Lahore, Pakistan. The complaintrequests the ITC institute an immediate investigation and ultimatelyissue a cease and desist order prohibiting ClearCorrect from using thedigital data representing orthodontic treatment that is imported intothe United States and infringes Align’s patents. The complaint furtherasks the ITC to prohibit ClearCorrect from selling aligners manufacturedusing such treatment plans.

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

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

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