American Well Corporation v. Teladoc, Inc., 1-15-cv-12274 (MAD June 13, 2016, Order) (Talwani, J.)
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Telehealth Patent Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101
The court granted defendant's motion to dismiss because the asserted claims of plaintiff’s telehealth patent encompassed unpatentable subject matter and found that the claims were directed toward an abstract idea. "[Plaintiff's] claims are directed to a patent-ineligible abstract idea: setting up consultations between patients and available healthcare providers. . . . [Plaintiff] contends that because the concept of tracking the instant availability of doctors is not found in the pre-internet era, it is not in the category of long-standing, fundamental economic practices that generally constitute abstract ideas. . . . The claims nevertheless embody the abstract idea of connecting a patient with an available doctor. The claims involve a method of 'organizing human activity,' and they constitute an 'idea, having no particular concrete or tangible form.' The preemption concerns raised by [plaintiff] underscore this point. Allowing [plaintiff] to patent the idea of using a computer to connect a patient with an available doctor would effectively grant a monopoly over an abstract idea."