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Epic Systems Takes Out Troll Patent on Abstract Idea

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — On May 10, 2016, Federal Circuit Judge William Bryson, sitting by designation in the Eastern District of Texas, granted Epic Systems Corporation’s motion to dismiss a patent infringement suit because the asserted patent was directed to unpatentable subject matter.

The plaintiff, Preservation Wellness Technologies, LLC, a non-practicing entity, asserted U.S. Patent No. 7,640,271 against Epic, along with three other defendants. Epic filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the claims of the ‘271 Patent are directed to subject matter that is ineligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101 in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank International. Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. and athenahealth, Inc. subsequently joined Epic’s motion. NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, LLC filed an additional motion, adopting Epic’s arguments as well.

Following a hearing on March 14, 2016, the court found that the asserted patent was “clearly drawn to an abstract idea”—securely managing medical records and providing patients and physicians with different levels of access to those records. The court also rejected Preservation Wellness’ reliance on a “two-way firewall” claim element as an “inventive concept” because it is “a known type of software program functioning in its conventional manner.” Accordingly, the court held that the asserted patent is invalid for claiming subject matter that is not eligible for patenting, and dismissed all claims against the defendants.

Epic develops healthcare software for use in community hospitals, clinics, medical centers, and patient homes. In addition to providing electronic health record systems to healthcare providers, Epic has designed web portals for patients to view, enter, and manage their personal health information.

Epic was represented by Quarles & Brady’s Anthony Tomaselli, Kristin Graham Noel, Martha Jahn Snyder, Louis Klapp, and Carly Levin, along with Brian Craft of Findlay Craft.

The case is Preservation Wellness Technologies LLC v. Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, et al., case number 2:15-cv-1559-WCB, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.