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American Well files patent lawsuit against Teladoc

American Well, a telehealth company, filed a lawsuit on June 8 against its rival Teladoc, which has a corporate office in Texas, claiming that the company infringed upon its patent on technology that links telehealth service providers with consumers. A co-founder of American Well has held the patent since 2009.

In the lawsuit, which was filed in Boston, American Well accuses Teladoc of incorporating each element of the patent into its technology. These elements include accessing medical service providers' information, receiving indications of newly available providers, receiving consumer requests for consultations with providers, identifying available providers and establishing real-time communications between providers and consumers.

American Well's claim is based on assertions in Teladoc's S-1 registration statement. Teladoc said in the filing that it does not think its business materially depends on trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights or patents.

American Well maintains in its legal filing that it rejected a request from Teladoc to license elements of the intellectual property. The telehealth company also says that, in March, the rival requested that a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office panel review four patent claims at issue. American Well says that the appeal demonstrates that Teladoc was worried about infringing on the patent.

Trade secrets are one of the most important elements that companies possess because they provide a competitive edge over rival companies. These could be programs, methods, formulas, techniques, financial data, or lists of potential or existing customers. When third parties or even employees take or share trade secrets, the companies could suffer serious losses. An attorney who has experience in intellectual property litigation might assist a company in pursuing remedies against an infringer.

Source: Med City News, "American Well sues Teladoc over telehealth intellectual property," Neil Versel, June 8, 2015

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