Align Technology, Inc. Secures New Patents to Protect Leading-Edge Manufacturing Technology
The new patents cover the fundamental technology of the Invisalign System, a breakthrough in orthodontics that uses advanced 3-D imaging technology to straighten teeth using a series of clear, removable, nearly invisible plastic appliances called “aligners.”
The first new U.S. patent (no. 6,210,162) covers new methods using less material for aligner mold fabrication, promising cost savings on manufacturing. The second patent (no. 6,217,325) is an extension of Align Technology’s very first patent and covers the making of aligners individually or in sets from digital models customized for each patient. Together these patents provide broad protection of the Invisalign System’s use of computer-design and fabrication at the outset of treatment.
“Protecting our intellectual property is a key element of our strategy,” said Zia Chishti, Align Technology’s founder and chief executive officer. “We believe our proprietary technology strengthens our long-term position as a technology leader. We continue to work towards increasing our manufacturing efficiencies to help position us to reach our profitability goals.”
Align Technology now has four patents issued and 51 pending patent applications in the U.S. Outside the U.S., Align Technology has more than 130 issued and pending patents.
About Align Technology, Inc.
Align Technology designs, manufactures and markets the Invisalign System, a proprietary new method for treating malocclusion, or the misalignment of teeth. The Invisalign System corrects malocclusion using a series of clear, nearly invisible, removable appliances that gently move teeth to a desired final position. Because it does not rely on the use of metal or ceramic brackets and wires, the Invisalign System significantly reduces the aesthetic and other limitations associated with braces. Invisalign is appropriate for treating adults and older teens. Align Technology was founded in March 1997 and received FDA clearance to market the Invisalign System in 1998.
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on Align Technology’s current expectations. Forward-looking statements in this release include, without limitation, references to cost-savings in manufacturing, the impact of our proprietary technology on our long- term position and achieving profitability. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. These factors include Align Technology’s ability to achieve profitability, the adoption by orthodontists and consumers of the Invisalign System, Align Technology’s successful enforcement of its intellectual property and avoidance of infringement on third party patents, Align Technology’s ability to establish and maintain reliable, high-volume manufacturing capacity in the U.S. and internationally, Align Technology’s ability to manage its significant growth and retain its key personnel, and Align Technology’s ability to achieve cost-savings in manufacturing and to increase manufacturing efficiencies. These factors, as well as other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, are discussed in more detail in Align Technology’s registration statement on Form S-1, as well as other reports and documents filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Align Technology, Inc.:
Stephen J. Bonelli
Chief Financial Officer
Thomson Financial Carson: