Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2006 00:25:31 -0600
From: "ESCO automatic digest system" <LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UIC.EDU>
Subject: ESCO Digest - 2 Nov 2006 to 6 Nov 2006 (#2006-40)

There is 1 message totalling 513 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:
1. Re: Invisalign


Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2006 16:25:20 -0500
From: "Barry Raphael" <drbarry@ALIGNMINE.COM>
Subject: Re: Invisalign

Terrific, Hey Dave.  Good to have you here.  You're closely tied to Align.  Perhaps you can answer some questions from an orthodontist's point of view, also. 

I'm a whiner, also.  I feel an injustice has been done to our patients and our profession. 

I was an early adopter of Invisalign and have always admired Align and its product.  I've learned plenty from you and the other committed orthodontists that have put in the field work to make this appliance what it's become.  Perhaps the thing that turns me off is the modern business model: self-aggrandizement to the point of assuming superiority.  And based on the self-defensive stance taken toward competition, I don't believe for a moment that the Putting-Patients-First program will supercede the Putting-Shareholders-First program. 

Maybe this is just where the new American business model has taken us.  It just doesn't seem professional to me.  As an orthodontist, I've always been happy to share my knowledge and ideas with my colleagues, and they with me.  I mean, can you image that you could sue me because I used your idea for skewing an attachment?  Of course, not.  WE are the ones who put the patients first.  It's why we are professionals and why Align is a lab.  A lab with great service will put the doctors first, helping us become the best doctors we can be for the patient's sake. 

The Putting-Patients-First program was nothing more than a negotiated concession for eliminating the competition.  The lawsuits can be called legally valid, but, in my opinion, the patents were overprotective.  Since when is it new to apply force modules in a sequence?  Since when is it new to use plastic as a force module?  Since when is it new to use CAD-CAM for 3D modeling.  Yes, Zia was the first to combine the various technologies in a new way, and yes, the Patent office did approve the patents.  But why can't those same technologies be combined in yet another new way to serve the public?  Though not everybody thinks so, I was satisfied that some innovations made by Zia with OrthoClear were ideas that Align hadn't come up with.  Why should the public be robbed of that?  It was robbed because Align had economic, not intellectual, turf to protect.  And so it did.

By the way, before you comment, are you a shareholder?

Sincerely for the best the profession has to offer,

Barry Raphael