Intellectual Property > IP Newsflash > Texas District Court Invalidates Patient Monitoring Patent Under §101
23 Feb '17

On February 13, 2017, Judge Roy Payne issued a report and recommendation to grant DeVilbiss Healthcare, LLC’s (“DeVilbiss”) motion to dismiss My Health, Inc.’s (“My Health”) complaint, holding that the asserted patent failed to claim patent-eligible subject matter as required by 35 U.S.C. § 101. 

On May 20, 2016, My Health filed a complaint against DeVilbiss, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent 6,612,985 (the “’985 Patent”), titled “[m]ethod and system for monitoring and treating a patient,” and claiming a method for tracking a patient’s compliance with treatment guidelines.  This case was one of more than 30 filed by My Health from 2014 to December 2016, alleging infringement of the ‘985 Patent.  Similar to other companies sued by My Health, DeVilbiss filed a motion to dismiss, contending that the ’985 Patent was invalid under §101. 

Aware of My Health’s litigation history with respect to the ’985 Patent and recognizing that invalidity under § 101 can be determined at the pleadings stage if claim construction is unnecessary, the court conducted a two-part Alice review of the ’985 Patent.  First, the court concluded that a representative claim of the ’985 Patent was “unquestionably ‘abstract’” because it did not recite a hardware or software component and failed to differentiate itself from ordinary mental processes.  Second, the court held that the ’985 Patent representative claim failed to include an inventive concept because it recited nothing more than mental steps that theoretically could be performed with conventional computer involvement.  My Health argued that claim construction was necessary before deciding whether the ’985 Patent is subject-matter eligible.  The court, however, noted that My Health had made this argument in several previous cases but settled before claim construction.  As a result, the court found that “My Health’s demand for claim construction therefore stands against the developing reality that those claims may never be construed.” Placing its practical concerns aside when reaching its decision, the court held that the ’985 Patent claims did “not come close to the subject-matter eligibility threshold.”

My Health, Inc. v. DeVilbiss Healthcare, LLC, 2:16-cv-00544 (consolidated with 2-16-cv-00535) (E.D. Tex. Feb. 13, 2017)