American Well Accuses Teladoc of Patent Infringement in Lawsuit
June 9, 2015 in News
On Monday, American Well filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts against Dallas-based Teladoc over alleged patent infringement regarding its online telehealth platform, mHealthNews reports (Wicklund, mHealthNews, 6/8).
In the 10-page lawsuit, American Well, which operates various technologies that allow patients to remotely communicate with doctors, accuses Teladoc of using its technology (Bartlett, Boston Business Journal, 6/8). Specifically, the suit focuses on American Well’s “550 patent,” which refers to a data repository that stores information regarding health care providers that allows consumers to locate and connect online with a provider in real-time.
In its lawsuit, American Well alleges that Teladoc’s “enterprise data store” is identical to American Well’s data repository and that Teladoc uses a system that “manages custom visit queues that automatically and instantly route available visits to appropriate providers based upon proprietary algorithms,” similar to American Well’s. In addition, the lawsuit notes that Teladoc’s system “dynamically and efficiently matches consumer demand and physician availability in real time” and that it allows consumers and providers to conduct visits via phone or video.
The lawsuit also cites an “inter partes review” (IPR) with the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeals Board filed by Teladoc challenging the validity of American Well’s “550 patient.” American Well argues the IPR is evidence that Teladoc was aware that its platform was similar to American Well’s platform.
In a release, American Well CEO and Co-Founder Ido Schoenberg said, “Teladoc has infringed American Well’s intellectual property.” He added, “While a transparent and competitive landscape is an imperative for innovation, Teladoc has unfairly disregarded American Well’s ownership rights to advance its business. We developed and patented these innovations and we owe it to our clients, partners and shareholders to protect them” (mHealthNews, 6/8).
In an emailed statement, Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic denied the accusations, saying the lawsuit “is in direct response to Teladoc’s March 24 petition … to invalidate certain American Well Corp. patents.” He added, “We very strongly believe that those patents are invalid,” noting that “the patents in question are impermissibly broad and cover matters that are too obvious to be patented.” Gorevic said Teladoc will continue its efforts to have American Well’s patents invalidated and “will vigorously defend itself as it would in any other non-meritorious, ordinary-course litigation” (Versel, MedCity News, 6/8).