Invisalign

Invisalign is a series of clear, removable teeth aligners that both orthodontists and dentists use as an alternative to traditional metal dental braces. As of April 2008, more than 730,000 patients have completed or are currently in treatment.

Invisalign is designed, manufactured, and marketed by Santa Clara-based medical-device company Align Technology, Inc. Align says that over 35,790 doctors are trained to provide Invisalign treatment in the U.S., with 48,130 doctors worldwide.As of January 29, 2008, Align Technology has 1,307 employees worldwide, and has manufactured more than 32 million aligners. The company has 133 patents.[citation needed]

Align Technology was in a legal battle with the makers of a competing product, OrthoClear, from early 2005 until September 2006.[2] Zia Chisti, one of the founders of Align, had started OrthoClear to compete against Invisalign. In a complaint filed with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) on January 11, 2006, Align alleged that OrthoClear utilized Align’s trade secrets and infringed twelve Align patents, comprising more than 200 patent claims, in the production of OrthoClear aligners at a facility in Lahore, Pakistan. On September 27, 2006, Align Technology settled its litigation with OrthoClear. OrthoClear has stopped accepting new cases and discontinued its aligner business worldwide. Align acquired all disputed intellectual property. Contrary to some reports, Align did not purchase OrthoClear.

Align Technology is also defending a class action suit on behalf of dentists and orthodontists who were suddenly dropped as approved Invisalign prescribers because they failed to meet a never-before-mentioned quota requirement. After prescribing doctors paid thousands of dollars each for Invisalign training, Align Technology unilaterally implemented a requirement that every prescriber start at least 10 new cases a year. The doctors are seeking a refund of the training cost because the training has no utility except in the prescription of Invisalign products