A federal judge on Monday dismissed a patent infringement lawsuit brought against telehealth company Teladoc by rival company American Well, noting that the latter’s claims are too broad.
In the lawsuit, brought last summer, American Well said the patent at issue was one called “connecting consumers with service providers;” it claimed Teladoc was relying on such technology, despite not being authorized to practice on American Well’s patent claims.
“Teladoc is well aware that it has been engaging in and continues to engage in the unauthorized practice of American Well’s patented inventions,” the suit said.
However, the judge sided with Teladoc, calling American Well’s claims “too abstract.”
Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic, in a statement celebrating the ruling, called access to quality care “too obvious to be patented.
“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,” he said.
American Well CEO Ido Schoenberg, in a statement, said the ruling was “disappointing,” while Bradford Gay, the company’s senior vice president and general counsel, called the decision an “extrapolation of existing Supreme Court precedent.”
Gay said that American Well plans to appeal.
Schoenberg also took some shots at Teladoc, saying the company “fragments” the continuum of care. He referred to the legal battle as “Borders versus Amazon for healthcare.”
Teladoc, meanwhile, points out that it has three actions of its own pending before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to invalidate parts of American Well’s patents.