Appeals court vacates part of patent claim against Align

Align Technology has announced that a U.S. appeals court has vacated parts of a patent decision that invalidated a claim against one of its patents for clear aligners.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has vacated certain aspects of a previous U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision that invalidated a claim against one of Align's patents.

However, the August 22 decision only awarded Align costs and sent the claim back to the appeal board for further proceedings. No final ruling was made on the patents.

On March 24, the board ruled that ClearCorrect was able to show that Align's "concepts and claims" were not able to be patented because they were a combination of known technology. ClearCorrect issued a release at that time stating that all challenged claims against one of Align Technology's patents (No. 6,699,037) have been canceled. Align stated separately it would appeal the decision on this patent.

The three-judge appeals court wrote that there was no "substantial evidence" supporting the board's findings.

As of press time, ClearCorrect had not responded to a request for comment by

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