Materialise has filed a US lawsuit against Nobel Biocare for patent infringement. Materialise contends that Nobel Biocare’s manufacture of “NobelGuide” drilling template violates a Materialise U.S. patent that was issued in 1998 relating to Materialise’s “SurgiGuide” techniques. The lawsuit in the U.S. is effectively an extension of a similar action in Europe where this past August the District Court of Dusseldorf ordered Nobel Biocare AB and Nobel Biocare Deutschland GmbH to stop offering the NobelGuide drilling templates in Germany, finding that they infringed Materialise’s analogous European Patent. This decision is subject to an appeal of Nobel Biocare pending at the Düsseldorf Court of Appeals. Materialise’s U.S. lawsuit is also a response to a recent Nobel Biocare civil action (also filed in the Central District Court of California) that seeks declaratory judgments that Materialise’s U.S. patent is both not infringed by Nobel Biocare’s products and is invalid. Bart Swaelens, CEO of Materialise Dental, said: “With this lawsuit, we are protecting our technology. Our “SimPlant” software was launched in 1991, and was followed by our “SurgiGuide” drill guides in 1999. The introduction of NobelGuide by Nobel Biocare, on the other hand, did not occur until 2005. “
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