The patents cover technology used in Align’s flagship Invisalign transparent orthodontic mouthpieces.
Align, which accused ClearCorrect in March 2012 of violating the patents, said an ITC administrative law judge issued an initial determination confirming infringement of 37 of the 40 claims collectively claimed in the patents. The ITC launched its probe a month later.
A "complete initial determination" including a "recommended remedy" expected later this week, San Jose, Calif.-based Align said.
"The final decision in this case, based on the deliberation of the full ITC Commission, is expected by Sept. 4, 2013. Align’s federal court patent infringement case in Houston against ClearCorrect Operating remains stayed pending the ITC process and remains an available remedy to Align should ClearCorrect attempt to use domestic technicians to provide its digital treatment services," the company said in a press release.
Roger George, Align Technology’s general counsel, called the judge’s recommendation "an important step in the vindication of our patent rights against this persistent foreign infringement."
"We are extremely pleased with this result," George said. "In addition, the attorneys at the ITC’s Office of Unfair Import Investigations, who examined this case separately, agree with Align and the ALJ that the patents are valid and infringed by ClearCorrect. We believe the ITC Commission will agree with the ITC Staff, the presiding ALJ, and Align that the patents at issue are valid and infringed by ClearCorrect."