In a unprecedented move, OrthoAccel Technologies, Inc, the makers of AcceleDent, have sent what amount to cease and desist letters via the Gardere Law Firm to orthodontists promoting the Propel product that recently entered the market to compete with AcceleDent. To my knowledge this type of intervention by one company against a rival manufacturer by threatening customers who use their product is new to orthodontics and the reaction has been unanimous. Orthodontists are outraged that OrthoAccel would threaten legal action against doctors for using a product. Furthermore the consensus among orthodontists is that OrthoAccel’s “scientific backing” of AcceleDent is questionable at best and they find it ironic that OrthoAccel would attack claims made by Propel. It is unclear how this will all shake out but OrthoAccel appears to be serious about defending what they believe is their property and Propel has stated that they will lend legal assistance to doctors who continue to use their product so this may take a while to play out. Whatever the result of the legal wrangling, it’s my opinion that OrthoAccel has unintentionally stepped on a PR land mine that was lying in plain view (or should have been obvious to anyone who knows this industry).
I reached out to OrthoAccel and CEO Michael Lowe responded thus:
“Thank you VERY MUCH for reaching out. You requested a comment from OrthoAccel about the dispute with Propel over its advertising and the letters sent to doctors who re-published on the internet the disputed Propel claims that are presently the subject of litigation. As you may not have known, OrthoAccel has sued Propel in federal court in Texas. A copy of the lawsuit is attached, so you can understand the nature of the dispute. If you have any more questions, let me know. I felt that full disclosure and providing the litigation vs. Propel itself would be far more meaningful than my opinion on the matter. I am hopeful and confident that you will portray us in a fair and equitable way with your views.”
I’ve uploaded the materials Michael Lowe sent to me and the links are here:
Also here is the body of the letter sent to doctors. I’ve had to cut them down to remove names and the quality sucks but it’s what I have to give you.
As always I’m keen to hear your input. The next few months should be interesting.