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Federal Circuit Success For NextGen Healthcare

Industry: Digital Health

Key Facts

  • Patent at issue: US Patent 7,640,271
  • NextGen provides electronic health record, financial, and health information exchange solutions
  • Threatened “Patient Portal” is key component of company’s service

The Situation

In late 2015, Preservation Wellness filed suit against NextGen, claiming that NextGen’s Patient Portal program infringed on a records management systems patent held by Preservation Wellness.  The Eastern District of Texas ruled that the medical records patent owned by Preservation Wellness covers only the basic concept of a medical records system, and is therefore unpatentable under the US Supreme Court’s Alice decision, which bars patents on computer-implemented abstract ideas. Mike Newman successfully argued the motion to dismiss before the court.

The Outcome

On an appeal by Preservation Wellness, Michael Renaud argued for NextGen and the other defendants in April 2017 in front of a panel of Circuit Judges at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Five days after the oral argument, the Court handed down its decision affirming the district court. The Federal Circuit’s quick ruling affirming the EDTX decision vindicated NextGen’s position that patents directed to longstanding methods of organizing human activity are unpatentable. It also suggests that the Court has provided sufficient clarity on Section 101 jurisprudence in the wake of Alice.

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