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Successful Defense via Alice Motion in EDTX

Industry: Technology

Key Facts

  • Patent at issue: U.S. 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
  • 2-hour oral argument on "Alice Motion" resulted in case against NextGen being dismissed

The Situation

Mintz has represented NextGen Healthcare Information Systems in a number of strategic patent matters over the years. The firm was hired to defend the company in late 2015 when they were sued in the Eastern District of Texas for patent infringement by Preservation Wellness. The complaint alleged that the patent in suit was infringed by NextGen’s Patient Portal program, which offers patients convenient access to their medical records. Preservation Wellness had also sued other companies offering online medical records.

The Approach

Mintz filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the patent-in-suit, which is directed to longstanding methods of organizing human activity, covered patent-ineligible subject matter. A two-hour oral hearing was held on the motion to dismiss, presided over by U.S. Federal Circuit Judge William Bryson, sitting by designation in the Eastern District of Texas.

The Outcome

Judge Bryson agreed with Mintz and dismissed the complaint against NextGen. In his opinion, Judge Bryson held that the patent at issue covers nothing more than the abstract idea of securely managing medical records and providing patients and physicians with differential access to those records, and is therefore not eligible for patent protection under the standard determined in Alice.

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