International oral care leader and inventor of the first medical technology
platform for straightening teeth SmileDirectClub Inc. (SDC:NASDAQ), today announced that "the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) will issue a patent on the company's innovative SmileBus concept."
"The SmileBus has helped thousands of people in the U.S. and U.K. get started on their smile journey – many of whom live in dental deserts."
The company indicated that it has made investments in its SmileBus fleet and its SmileBus concept to help achieve its mission to increase consumers accessibility to oral health care. The firm advised that the USPTO ruled and recognized that the SmileBus concept was indeed a novel one. SmileDirectClub stated that, "The patent will further strengthen protection for SmileDirectClub's intellectual property as one of the methods for bringing premium, affordable, accessible oral care to more people through its telehealth platform."
The company mentioned in the news release that it initially launched its fleet of SmileBuses in the U.S. in 2018 and followed up with a similar program in the U.K. in 2020. The firm highlighted that in total, the U.S. and U.K. SmileBus fleets have made close to 1,200 stops across the continental U.S. and the U.K. Upon being mobilized at these remote site locations, the company's SmileGuides have taken close to 100,000 3D images so far supporting efforts to help customers improve their smile regardless of where they reside and even if they live in an area without any local orthodontal providers.
SmileDirectClub's Chief Legal Officer and EVP of Business Affairs Susan Greenspon Rammelt stated, "For far too long, access to orthodontic care was limited to only those areas that could support an in-person practice. Thanks to the SmileBus and SmileDirectClub's industry-first telehealth platform for teeth straightening, more communities than ever now have a premium, affordable, accessible option…We are pleased the USPTO has acknowledged the novelty of our SmileBus concept by allowing this patent."
"The SmileBus has helped thousands of people in the U.S. and U.K. get started on their smile journey – many of whom live in 'dental deserts' without convenient access to orthodontic treatment," Rammelt added.
The company advised that this latest approved patent will be a strong addition to SmileDirectClub's intellectual property (IP) portfolio. The firm mentioned that its IP portfolio already includes "SmileDirectClub's patent-protected and innovative digital customer journey, groundbreaking advancements in the manufacture of clear aligners, award-winning whitening system and many other premium oral care offerings."
SmileDirectClub is an oral care company based in in Nashville, Tenn. The company was established in 2014 based upon the idea of providing convenient, affordable, high-quality oral care that is accessible to all. The firm stated that it created the first direct-to-consumer medtech platform designed exclusively for teeth straightening and that since the company was formed, it has helped over 1.5 million people worldwide transform their smiles through its orthodontia-based telehealth platform.
The company stated that it has effectively utilized its proprietary cutting-edge telehealth technology which has allowed it to revolutionize the oral care industry. The firm commented that through implementation of its vertically implemented business model it is able to offer consumers the ability to receive clinically safe and effective treatment without having to pay a 300% product markup. The company also offers its products directly through an affiliated network of dentist and orthodontists' offices.
Some of the products offered by the company include aligners, impression kits, retainers and whitening gel. In addition to its operations in the U.S. and the U.K., SmileDirectClub has expanded its global reach and now operates in several other countries including Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, and the Netherlands.
SmileDirectClub started the day with a market cap of around $2.0 billion with approximately 388.1 million shares outstanding. SDC shares opened over 3% higher today at $5.2664 (+$0.1864, +3.67%) over yesterday's $5.08 closing price. The stock has traded today between $5.21 and $5.94 per share and closed for trading at $5.87 (+$0.79, +15.55%).
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