By Cameron Chai
3M, a diversified technology company, has signed a licensing agreement with Zirkonzahn, an Italy-based dental company, for ceramic coloring technology.
Under the terms of the agreement, Zirkonzahn has licensed 3M’s patented technology that allows coloring of dental fillings based on zirconia material. The technology enables comparison of the color of dental restorations to the natural color of the teeth. Thus, it enhances aesthetics for patients. The agreement has helped to solve an almost two-year patent infringement case between Zirkonzahn and 3M in Düsseldorf, Germany. 3M has the right to license the ceramic coloring technology to other dental companies and interested parties.
The company has filed a patent infringement claim against Ivoclar Vivadent, as 3M’s coloring liquids and non-shaded zirconia CAD/CAM blocks are traded under the IPS e.max ZirCAD brand name.
3M makes continuous investments in research and development to improve oral care. 3M ESPE is a dental division of 3M Health Care, which offers solutions in the health information, food safety, drug delivery, oral care, and medical markets. The division markets over 2,000 dental products, which are developed to make dentistry process better, easier and for dental specialists and their patients. Anaheim Group, a publisher of dental industry newsletters, has recognized 3M ESPE as the most innovative dental business for the last seven years.