Judge denies Ivoclar motion in 3M lawsuit

A federal judge has denied a motion by Ivoclar Vivadent to dismiss a lawsuit filed against it by 3M, according to a story by Courthouse News Service (CNS).

The legal dispute between 3M and Ivoclar Vivadent, over a U.S. patent issued to Ivoclar in 1999 covering polymer-based restoratives materials, began heating up late last year.

In November 2011 the companies signed a confidential disclosure agreement, which included an agreement not to sue, while trying to sort out patent claims, according to CNS.

But on November 30, 3M filed a lawsuit against Ivoclar Vivadent in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota stating Ivoclar has engaged in a series of acts that "create a real, concrete dispute between the parties and constitute a clear threat that Ivoclar AG and Ivoclar Inc. will sue 3M for infringement of the '006 patent."

On December 1, Ivoclar did just that, filing a patent-infringement lawsuit against 3M in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. The patent in question is U.S. patent No. 5,936,006, "Filled and Polymerizable Dental Material," which was issued to Ivoclar in August 1999.

Ivoclar also moved to dismiss 3M's case by claiming that 3M's lawsuit was barred by the confidential disclosure agreement, buton April 26U.S. District Court JudgeAnn Montgomery refused to grant the dismissal.

In addition to denying Ivoclar's motion to dismiss, the judge dismissed without prejudice claims that 3M filed against Ivoclar's North American subsidiary.

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