Danaher (NYSE:DHR) subsidiary Nobel Biocare notched a mixed win in the initial determination from the U.S. International Trade Commission in its patent war with a Straumann subsidiary and a Brazilian manufacturer over dental implant technology.
Nobel Biocare filed a complaint in October 2014 with the ITC, asking for an investigation of the importation and sale of the Neodent DriveCM dental implant, made by Brazilian subcontractor JJGC Indústria e Comércio de Materiais Dentários and sold by Straumann subsidiary Instradent. Neodent stopped using the allegedly infringing design after the ITC launched its investigation.
Nobel Biocare alleged that the Drive CM products infringe U.S patents 8,714,977 (“Condensing skeletal implant that facilitate insertions”) and 8,764,443 (“Method for producing a surface structure on an implant, and such an implant”), covering its NobelActive line.
Nobel Biocare also sued Neodent and the Brazilian manufacturer in a U.S. federal court last year, alleging infringement.
Last week ITC Administrative Law Judge David Shaw issued an Initial Final Determination that the DriveCM device violates the Tariff Act for 5 claims in the ‘443 patent. Shaw found no violation of the Tariff Act for 6 claims in the ‘977 patent or for a 6th claim of the ‘443 patent, according to ITC documents.
“Nobel Biocare has invested significant resources in research and development to continue the tradition of innovation handed down to us by Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark, the pioneer of implant dentistry. We will not tolerate low-quality copies of Nobel Biocare’s products that infringe our intellectual property rights, and we look forward to the ITC’s final rulings in this investigation,” Nobel Biocare president Richard Laube said in prepared remarks.
“The outcome of this case does not change anything for our customers and we are pleased that we can continue to offer both our DriveCM and DriveCM Acqua as attractively-priced, high-quality alternatives to NobelActive,” Instradent general manager Bill Benjaminsen said in a statement.