District Court of Dusseldorf Germany Finds Ortho Caps and Rasteder KFO Infringe Align Technology Patents
The permanent injunction orders are based on the Düsseldorf Court's finding that Ortho Caps and Rasteder KFO separately infringe European Patents EP 2 263 599, EP 2 263 598, and EP 1 369 091, and that Ortho Caps also infringes EP 1 143 872. EP 2 263 599 and EP 2 263 598 cover the broad methods of digital treatment planning and manufacturing of aligners, while European Patent EP 1 143 872 covers the physical template for applying attachments. With regard to European Patent EP 1 269 091, which covers the providing of aligners in a single package, the Düsseldorf Court limited its finding of infringement to instances where a set of all aligners manufactured pursuant to a treatment plan are received by the dentist or orthodontist in a single package.
Under German law, a first instance injunction is enforceable subject to the patent holder posting a bond. Align is currently evaluating its enforcement options with regard to the injunctions granted by the Düsseldorf Court. Ortho Caps and Rasteder KFO each have the right to appeal the granting of the injunctions against them
The judgments against Ortho Caps and Rasteder KFO were handed down notwithstanding the fact that each of the aforementioned patents have been opposed by Ortho Caps and Rasteder KFO in oppositions pending before the European Patent Office (EP 2 263 599, EP 2 263 598, EP 1 143 872) or invalidity suits (EP 1 369 091).
Align also asserted the German parts of EP 2 295 004 and EP 0 989 828 against Ortho Caps and Rasteder KFO. These cases were stayed by the Düsseldorf Court in view of oppositions (EP 2 295 004) and invalidity suits (EP 0 989 828) pending against the patents. A ruling on these oppositions and invalidity suits is expected in mid to late 2014. Align is confident that all patents will be upheld in oppositions and invalidity suits respectively in their asserted form.
"We are pleased by the judge's finding that several permanent injunctions be entered against both Ortho Caps and Rasteder KFO," said
It is Align's belief that Ortho Caps manufactures and sells only its clear aligner therapy system while Rasteder KFO manufactures and sell other products not affected by the Düsseldorf Court's rulings.
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