GC Corporation has announced that the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled in its favor in Inv. No. 337-TA-1050, finding that the importation and sale of GC’s Initial® LiSi Press lithium disilicate ingots does not violate Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. This significant ruling by the full Commission affirms the result of an initial determination by the ITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
“We consider this ruling to be a complete vindication for GC and its Initial® LiSi Press development team,” said Mr. Makoto Nakao, Chairman and CEO of GC. “This is good news for dentists and dental labs, and for their patients, who will now continue to have access to GC’s high-quality restoration materials. We have never wavered from our position that these allegations were without merit, and we are deeply gratified that the Commission has agreed. We respect the intellectual property rights of our competitors, as we expect our competitors to respect ours, but we will aggressively defend GC against unfounded allegations of infringement.”
In the original complaint, submitted in March 2017, Ivoclar Vivadent and several affiliates alleged that GC’s Initial® LiSi Press lithium disilicate ingots infringed 33 separate claims of four different patents – U.S. Patent Nos. 7,425,836, 6,517,623, 6,802,894 and 6,455,451, and that Ivoclar’s domestic industry (anchored by its own IPS e.max® products) would be harmed. Prior to a full hearing in March, Ivoclar voluntarily dismissed all claims based on the ’623 and ’451 patents, and the investigation proceeded solely on claims from the ’836 and ’894 patents. Following trial, the Chief ALJ concluded that there had been no violation of Section 337 with respect to any of the remaining patent claims, as all outstanding claims were either invalid or not infringed by GC. After extensive additional briefing by the parties, the Commission upheld the Chief ALJ’s determination of no violation.