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Mintz Wins Appeal for NextGen in Medical Records Patent Case Dismissed Under Alice

Boston, MA – Mintz, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. today announced a victory before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which affirmed an Eastern District of Texas ruling from May 2016 that held unpatentable a medical records patent asserted by Preservation Wellness against NextGen Healthcare, a company providing electronic health record, financial, and health information exchange solutions for myriad healthcare organizations.

Mintz argued on behalf of Nextgen, a client, along with co-defendants Allscripts and Epic, and served as counsel at the district court case for Nextgen, arguing the motion along with Allscripts’ counsel at the district court hearing.

The suit brought by Preservation Wellness claimed that the patent at issue was infringed by NextGen’s Patient Portal program, which offers patients convenient access to their medical records. Preservation Wellness has also sued other companies offering online medical records.

In granting NextGen’s motion to dismiss, the Eastern District of Texas held that Preservation Wellness’ patent covers nothing more than the basic concept of a medical records system, which is not patent-eligible under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Alice decision barring patents on computer-implemented abstract ideas.

The district court stated, “In the context of a patent that is clearly drawn to an abstract idea—securely managing medical records and providing patients and physicians with differential access to those records—the use of the conventional two-way firewall program for its intended purpose to serve the function set forth in the claims does not satisfy the ‘inventive concept’ requirement of Alice and the Federal Circuit decisions that have followed Alice. Accordingly, the Court concludes that…the claims of the ‘271 patent are not drawn to patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.”

The patent-in-suit is U.S. Patent Number 7,640,271.

“NextGen is pleased to see its position vindicated,” said Michael Renaud, the Division Head for Mintz’s Intellectual Property Practice. “This should send a message that these patents directed to longstanding methods of organizing human activity will be dismissed at the pleading stage of litigation, and the quick affirmance suggests that the Federal Circuit has provided sufficient clarity on Section 101 jurisprudence in the wake of Alice.”

In addition to Mr. Renaud, NextGen was represented by Michael Newman and James Wodarski, Members of Mintz’s IP section, and Sandra Badin, an attorney in the IP section.