Cardionet Suit Against InfoBionic Dismissed
On Wednesday, October 17th, An India based US District Court Judge Indira Talwani dismissed a patent infringement case bought up by CardioNet against InfoBionic.
The cardiac monitor is a device that shows the heart’s electrical activity as a wave pattern on a monitor. It continuously shows the cardiac rhythm and sends the electrocardiogram (EKG) tracing to a main monitor in the nursing station. Most commonly used in emergency rooms and critical care areas, cardiac monitoring allows for continual observation of several patients.
CardioNet, a leading provider of services related to ambulatory outpatient management solutions for the purpose of vital information related to an individual’s health had filed a patent infringement suit for its patent against infoBionic, which is a manufacturer of patient monitoring technical systems.
CardioNet alleged that Info Bionic’s MoMe Kardia System, which uses a Kardia Device for recording and transmitting patient’s electrocardiograph signal to a MoMe Software system which detects arrhythmias and enables human review of arrhythmia data, is resulting in multiple infringements of the “207” patent. The following patent relates to applications and services for monitoring and monitoring-related services medical and diagnostic devices. On Dec 31, 2012, CardioNet assigned all the right, title, interest associated with 207 patent to Braemar, a company known for developing and manufacturing ambulatory cardiac monitors for various healthcare companies. InfoBionic filed a motion to dismiss the case against them, arguing that patent 207 is invalid in accordance with the provision of 35 U.S. Code Section 101[i] of US patent laws which talks about Inventions which are patentable.
CardioNet challenged the motion arguing that Federal Circuit’s decisions in Aatrix Software v. Green Shades Software and Berkheimer v. HP, changed the dynamics of Section 101 which had impacted several eligibility criteria defined under Section 101. The following motion was dismissed by Judge Talwani after the court had found that the 207 patent was directed to a patent-ineligible abstract idea when applying the two-step framework lay down by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International.[ii]The court examined that CardioNet patent was not any such advancement to the existing technology related to cardiac monitoring.
Judge Talwani laid emphasis on step two of Alice-patent eligibility test which was “The idea of using a machine to monitor and analyze heartbeat variability and interfering beats so as to alert the user of potential AF events may well improve the field of cardiac telemetry, but Plaintiffs do not identify improvements to any particular computerized technology”.
The court remained on the side of InfoBionic which had argued that the ‘207 patent recites collecting cardiac data, determining its relevance and identifying a cardiac event without the identification of any technical solutions or detailed software for performing the claimed functions. The court found that nothing in the ‘207 patent’s claims imposes a meaningful limit on the abstract idea of detecting AF by looking at heartbeat variability and that the “determination logic” cited by plaintiffs wasn’t a limitation as it was undefined and unspecified.[iii]