Healthcare Business

Why SmileDirectClub's New Patent Is a Big Deal

SmileDirectClub Inc. (NASDAQ: SDC) shares pushed higher on Tuesday after the company announced that it had received a patent for its new retail plan. The patent specifically deals with the firm’s SmileShop intellectual property.

Ultimately, this patent, U.S. Patent No. 10,636,522, further strengthens SmileDirectClub’s efforts to bring affordable, accessible oral care to more people through its unique and innovative teledentistry platform and direct-to-consumer business model.

In simpler terms, the patent ensures no clear aligner competitor will be able to duplicate SmileDirectClub’s unique model for 18 years.

The patent encompasses the unique SmileShop concept and process, including scheduling of an appointment at a SmileShop, sending the scheduling confirmation to the customer, conducting the intraoral scan, generating a treatment plan, receiving approval of the treatment plan by a licensed dentist or orthodontist, producing aligners in accordance with the treatment plan, and sending those aligners to the customer.

The company also announced it is making plans to slowly reopen its SmileShops beginning in May in the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland as local governments begin to lift business restrictions.

David Katzman, CEO of SmileDirectClub, commented:

This patent designation is a significant validation of our unique customer-oriented care model, and expands our category ownership, including the manufacturing and retail experience. SmileDirectClub is continually seeking to improve the affordability and accessibility of oral care for consumers. As the industry pioneer and inventor of the SmileShop concept, this patent is recognition that SmileDirectClub offers an innovative way for consumers to access oral care that is safe, doctor-directed and convenient. We look forward to welcoming customers back to our SmileShops at the earliest and safest possible time.

SmileDirectClub stock traded up about 18% to $6.35 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $3.64 to $21.10.