Knobbe Martens Client Nobel Biocare wins at ITC – Exclusion Order against Competitor Instradent Recommended

A Nobel Biocare patent relating to the NobelActive® line of dental implants was infringed by the Neodent® DriveCM™ implant, sold by Straumann® subsidiary Instradent® and manufactured by JJGC Indústria e Comércio de Materiais Dentários S/A, according to an Initial Determination from the United States (US) International Trade Commission (ITC). The presiding administrative law judge has also recommended an exclusion order blocking the Neodent® DriveCM™ implants from being imported into the United States.

The Initial Determination by Judge David Shaw became public on November 24, 2015, and confirms that Nobel Biocare’s US Patent No. 8,764,443 is valid and also that Neodent’s DriveCM™ implant infringes that patent. The order also finds that the infringing DriveCM™ implant violates US trade law. The ITC will issue a Final Determination by February 29, 2016.

The ITC’s determination stems from an investigation that began in October 2014 to determine whether the DriveCM™ implants violate Section 337 of the Tariff Act. The infringing DriveCM™ dental implants are Brazilian-made imports that have been sold throughout the US, and their original design had striking similarities to the patented design of the NobelActive® implant. The Initial Determination concluded that: “Nobel introduced compelling evidence of copying...In particular, the evidence supports a finding that JJGC copied the NobelActive® implant or a clone of the implant.” After the ITC formally instituted this investigation, Instradent® discontinued sales of this implant design.

The NobelActive® line has grown to become one of the world’s most popular dental implants. The US patent found to be infringed relates to technology for aiding the surgical installation and successful integration of the implants in a variety of patient bone types.

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