February 2013

February 15, 2013, by Mandour & Associates, APC

Los Angeles – MyMedicalRecords Inc. filed a lawsuit in California federal court against the health information company WebMD Health Corp., claiming that WebMD has created an online portal for patient records that infringes one of its patents.

The online health records provider claimed that WebMD launched its new patient’s records portal after talks regarding MyMedicalRecords assisting WebMD revamp its old portal fell through.  It also claimed that the new portal infringes its patent that covers technology that allows patients to securely access personal health files stored remotely.

MyMedicalRecords filed the lawsuit on Monday in the Central District of California in Los Angeles and Judge Christina A. Snyder will hear the case.

MyMedicalRecords is a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based MMRGlocal Inc.  Its website allows users to store all of their medical information securely online and allows them to access and add to the records from anywhere.  The company also offers other methods for securely storing medical records and has seven patents to protect the technology.

WebMD provides health information to the general public, health care providers and health plans through both public and private portals.  The New York-based company approached MyMedicalRecords in May 2007 requesting assistance in developing a secure patient information portal, according to the complaint.

At the time, WebMD’s patient portal only allowed users to enter personal information, which could be compared against a database to give the user an assessment of his or her health.  WebMD admitted to MyMedicalRecords that its portal was limited and sought its advice on improving the portal, as WebMD wanted to have a system similar to MyMedicalRecords’ system.

The companies signed nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements and began talks.  According to MyMedicalRecords, WebMD halted the talks a few months later and then began altering its portal to include features of MyMedicalRecords portal.

According to the complaint, WebMD’s current portal allows users to integrate different forms of health information from various sources and store those records securely, which MyMedicalRecords claims directly infringes its patent.

MyMedicalRecords is seeking a judgment declaring that WebMD has willfully infringed its patent and an injunction forcing WebMD to cease infringing the patent in addition to damages, treble damages, interest, costs and attorney’s fees.

February 13, 2013, by Mandour & Associates, APC

Los Angeles – Tela Innovations Inc. filed a lawsuit against Nokia Corp, LG Electronics Inc., and several other companies with both the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Delaware federal court accusing the companies of infringing seven patents owned by Tela that cover technology related to integrated circuit manufacturing processes.

In addition to Nokia and LG, Tela filed separate lawsuits against Motorola Mobility LLC, HTC Corp., and Pantech Co. Ltd. in Delaware federal court and a joint complaint against all five companies with the ITC accusing the companies of copying Tela’s technology for optimizing the layout of integrated circuits in its smartphones without a license from Tela.

“Tela has, and continues to, create technology to address critical technical and economic challenges facing the semiconductor industry.  Our products enable designers to achieve the best performance, area and power characteristics possible as semiconductor processes continue to scale,” Scott Becker, CEO of the California-based Tela, said in a statement.  “Given the significance of our company’s investment in this technology and associated products, it was necessary to take legal action at this time.”

Tela, which is headquartered in Santa Clara County, said its patents protect improvement for the manufacture of integrated circuit chips, which are utilized in nearly all electronic devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops.  The manufacturing techniques allow manufacturers to perfect printing of a circuit layout on tiny chips.

In the complaints, Tela claims that each of the five companies have imported and sold smartphones or tablets that contain integrated circuits that infringe some combination of seven patents held by the company.

“Tela has been irreparably harmed by the defendants’ infringement of its valuable patent rights,” the complaint said. “Moreover, defendants’ unauthorized and infringing uses of Tela’s patented technology have threatened the value of this intellectual property.”

In the lawsuits filed in federal court, Tela is seeking damages and an injunction to prevent the companies from importing goods in the future that infringe its patents.  The ITC complaint is seeking a declaratory judgment that the companies have imported infringing goods and therefore have breached Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930.  If the ITC rules in favor of Tela, it could result in an exclusion order banning the companies from importing their devices into the United States.

February 1, 2013, by Mandour & Associates, APC

Los Angeles – A U.S. District Judge denied Apple’s bid to increase the $1.05 billion in damages the company was awarded against Samsung by a San Francisco jury in the companies’ ongoing patent war.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Francisco said that Apple had not provided sufficient evidence to prove Samsung’s infringement was willful and therefore denied Apple’s bid for treble damages.

The decision was one of many post-trial rulings Judge Koh issued Tuesday.  She also denied both companies’ requests for a new trial, which were based on parts of the verdict that were adverse to each company’s interests.  Judge Koh said that after reviewing the trial, she did not find error in the decision and upheld the jury’s verdict.

Judge Koh also denied Samsung’s request that the damages be reduced.  The San Fransico jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion to compensate Apple for losses caused from Samsung’s patent infringement.  The jury awarded the damages after determining that Samsung infringed six of Apple’s patents by using the protected technology in 26 models of smartphones and tablets without license from Apple.

Samsung claimed that the jury was not provided with a verdict form that was particular enough to allow it to properly calculate damages on a product-by-product basis.  The company claimed that if the damages were properly calculated, the verdict would be reduced by more than $600 million.

Another argument Samsung offered for reducing the damages was its claim that Apple’s patents should never have been granted because the language was too vague and did not accurately describe the technology covered by the patents.

Judge Koh rejected both arguments and did not provide much detail on why she was upholding the amount of the verdict, particularly when she had said in a hearing on December 6th that the original award was not “authorized by the law” and that the jury’s approach to calculating the damages was likely faulty.

In Tuesday’s decision, Judge Koh said that the court would not speculate on how the jury determined the damages awarded, but claimed that it was reasonable to assume the jury calculated the damages in order to compensate Apple for any losses it suffered due to Samsung’s infringement of Apple’s patents.

Despite Judge Koh’s ruling, it is likely the case is far from over, as at least one of the companies will likely appeal the decision.