Teladoc has sued competitor Amwell over patent claims in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. Teladoc is accusing Amwell of infringing on its patents related to telehealth carts, a digital scope and stethoscope and has demanded that its competitor immediately stop selling, making, using and importing those products. Teladoc is seeking unspecified monetary and injunctive relief under patent laws, according to the lawsuit. In the instant case, the Court will be tasked with defining healthcare intellectual property rights in the digital age.
Teladoc, through an acquisition of the telehealth startup InTouch Technologies earlier this year, owns extensive patent portfolio covering various aspects of telemedicine, such as the use of robots and telemedicine carts. Teladoc alleges that Amwell has provided and continues to provide the contested products to its users. Amwell, on the other hand, has said that Teladoc’s claims lack merit and that they will vigorously defend against them.
However, these telehealth giants have history together. In 2015, Amwell filed a lawsuit against Teladoc accusing it of infringing on a 2007 patent. Then in 2016, a Massachusetts U.S. District Court threw out the lawsuit and invalidated the patent itself.
We will all have to stay tuned for what comes next for these competitors and for the world of telehealth intellectual property rights.