A clarification on Align Technology and OrthoClear settlement

Dec. 21, 2006
Align Technology explains its role emerging from legal settlement.

A message from Align Technology:

A great deal of confusion exists in the marketplace regarding the recently announced settlement between Align Technology, Inc., and OrthoClear, Inc. The settlement agreement was designed to end the significant litigation in which the two companies were engaged.

As part of the settlement, OrthoClear has stopped taking new cases and has agreed to cease its worldwide aligner operations. As a result, Align is receiving a lot of questions from practices that are worried about their OrthoClear cases in progress. Align can't answer all of your questions regarding OrthoClear, their reasons for settling the litigation, or their decision to shut down their business so rapidly. What we can do is address the confusion regarding the settlement itself and Align's role in it.

We will start by addressing the settlement in very clear terms: Align did not acquire OrthoClear. As part of the settlement agreement, OrthoClear agreed to stop accepting cases, stop importing aligners from Pakistan, and close down its aligner business worldwide. They were not forced to do these things — Align and OrthoClear each negotiated and agreed to settlement terms that were in their respective best interests.

Align did not take over OrthoClear's cases, sales force, production facilities, or operations. We did not shut down the OrthoClear Web site and were not involved in decisions regarding OrthoClear employees or their jobs. We have no information regarding OrthoClear treatment plans, billing, credit card charges, refunds, promotional offers, certification courses, stock offerings, or other OrthoClear business processes or practices.

We understand that this situation may be frustrating for practices that were doing business with OrthoClear. We'd like to help.

During the settlement negotiation, Align volunteered to make new Invisalign treatment available to current OrthoClear patients and their doctors. Invisalign treatment will be available at no charge to OrthoClear doctors through a specific program being developed at Align, provided they do not in turn charge their patients.

Align wants to be very clear about the reason for doing this, because we were not forced to do this by OrthoClear, a judge, or anyone else. We agreed to do it because it is the right thing to do. Align pioneered and continues to lead this industry. We want to help ensure that all patients have a good experience with aligner therapy. To do that, we must be willing to help all doctors who choose clear aligner therapy deliver the best possible results to their patients.

Align requires all doctors to complete Invisalign certification prior to submitting cases. However, due to the extenuating circumstances resulting from OrthoClear's discontinuation of service, Align will allow noncertified doctors to complete a free, Web-based training course that will provide enough information to submit OrthoClear patients for Invisalign treatment. Doctors are also welcome to register for a full Invisalign certification course. Standard course fees will apply, but full certification will allow them to submit new Invisalign cases in addition to their OrthoClear patients.

Detailed information and periodic updates for OrthoClear doctors are available at www.invisalign.com.