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Case Study: Queensland orthodontic appliance offers successful alternative to childhood braces

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The history

myobraceQueensland based Dr Christopher Farrell has been practising orthodontics since graduating in 1971. From the commencement of his career he has been interested in the causes of orthodontic and jaw (TMJ) problems, particularly in children. For many years, research had identified incorrect breathing and swallowing as the most dominant causes of myofunctional concerns. However, back in the early 1980s these research findings were not taken up by the majority of the Dental and Medical profession. As a result, Dr Farrell decided to apply his time to the focused design and creation of innovative orthodontic appliances. In 1989 he founded the Myofunctional Research Co.

The innovation

bracesOne of the key innovations made by Dr Farrell involved the development of a new appliance under the MYOBRACE brand. The MYOBRACE orthodontic appliance demonstrates great efficacy at expanding the upper arch in the mouth region of a developing child to match the lower arch and aligns the teeth on the upper arch.

The intellectual property protection

The MYOBRACE orthodontic appliance was protected by patent applications and these have resulted in issued patents in over 20 countries around the world.

In addition, Dr Farrell sought a strong and distinctive trade mark for this important product. He also wanted a trade mark that suggested the different course he was charting in relation to orthodontics. Dr Farrell coined the term MYOBRACE and developed a distinctive MYOBRACE logo which is striking and contains artwork suggesting a row of teeth.

The MYOBRACE and MYOBRACE logo trade marks were protected in Australia initially, and then protection was extended into major overseas markets. The registration of this trade mark proceeded smoothly. The trade mark was considered to be quite different to prior trade mark applications in the orthodontic field. The MYOBRACE trade mark, once a newly coined word, has now been successfully registered in over 20 countries, around the world.

The outcome

The MYOBRACE orthodontic appliance has been used to successfully treat thousands of children around the world. One obvious benefit of the MYOBRACE appliance is that there are no railway tracks, no bands, and no wires in the patient’s mouth. Another major benefit is that the appliance is injection moulded and can be produced on a large scale. This makes the treatment more affordable and opens up the treatment to a wide market in developing countries.

The MYOBRACE brand has strengthened over time, and has become synonymous with Dr Farrell’s ground breaking appliances. Simply put, it has become a market leader in the treatment of children’s teeth without using wire braces. The MYOBRACE trade mark occupies a central and leading position in the ongoing development of Dr Farrell’s business, and its legacy can be summed up by the slogan: ‘Better Faces/Less Braces’.

IP Gateway has developed a personally rewarding relationship with Dr Farrell, and has enjoyed seeing his trade mark grow into a formidable international brand.

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