Teladoc secures major victory in patent dispute with American Well
Federal court dismisses infringement suit, invalidating American Well's patent for technology connecting patients to doctors.
Purchase, New York (June 14, 2016) – Teladoc, Inc. (NYSE: TDOC), the first and largest telehealth platform in the United States, has secured a major patent victory against competitor American Well Corporation. A Massachusetts federal court yesterday dismissed an infringement suit filed by American Well, ruling that its patent covering the basic provision of telehealth is invalid because the patent's major elements are "too abstract" to be patentable and do not "amount to an inventive concept."
"We are delighted the court has ruled in our favor in this important case. Teladoc challenged these patents because we believe telehealth is a fundamental part of the modern health care system. Access to high-quality health care is too important, too broad and too obvious to be patented," said Jason Gorevic, Teladoc chief executive officer. "This decision validates the position we took over a year ago — that the American Well patent portfolio is invalid and should not be an impediment to the proliferation of telehealth."
In 2015, Teladoc petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to invalidate several of American Well's patents. In retaliation, American Well sued Teladoc shortly before Teladoc's IPO, alleging that Teladoc's business model illegally copied one of its cornerstone patents. Teladoc asserted that both its business had pre-dated American Well's by a number of years and that American Well's patents were invalid as overly broad and obvious. The federal court in Boston agreed with Teladoc.
Separately, Teladoc has three actions pending before the USPTO to invalidate other parts of American Well's patents. The USPTO has thus far allowed the challenges to proceed, noting that Teladoc has a "reasonable likelihood" of prevailing in each instance.
Teladoc, Inc. (NYSE:TDOC) is the nation's leading provider of telehealth services and a pioneering force in bringing the virtual care visit into the mainstream of today's health care ecosystem. Serving some 6,000 clients — including health plans, health systems, employers and other organizations — more than 15 million members can use phone, mobile devices and secure online video to connect within minutes to Teladoc's network of more than 3,000 board-certified, state-licensed physicians and behavioral health specialists, 24/7. With national coverage and a robust, scalable platform, Teladoc offers the industry's most comprehensive and complete telehealth solution including primary care, behavioral health care, dermatology, tobacco cessation and more. For additional information, please visit www.teladoc.com.