A pair of direct-to-consumer telehealth companies are entangled in a legal mess, with Boston-based American Well suing Dallas-based Teladoc over patent infringement.
According to American Well's 300-page suit, Teladoc is accused of stealing the Boston-based company's 550 patent, "Connecting Consumers with Service Providers." The patent is essentially the technology behind the direct-to-consumer telehealth companies, connecting patients with providers based on the latter's availability through a data repository storing that information. American Well says that Teladoc System, storing this provider capacity information an enterprise data repository, is a rip off its patent.
"Teladoc has infringed American Well's intellectual property," Ido Schoenberg, CEO of American Well, said in a statement. "While a transparent and competitive landscape is an imperative for innovation, Teladoc has unfairly disregarded American Well's ownership rights to advance its business. We developed and patented these innovations and we owe it to our clients, partners and shareholders to protect them."
American Well supports its claim by saying that Teladoc recently sought a license to obtain their patents. They also note that the Dallas-based company filed a request with the Patent Trials and Appeals Board, attacking four of American Well's patents within the 550 patent.
In a statement to the press, Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic said that American Well's claims are false and that its patents are invalid. They say that the patents are way too broad to be patented.
This is not Teladoc's first run in with legal entanglements. It's been undergoing a legal battle in its home state of Texas, with the Texas Medical Board trying to institute laws that will make it harder to operate.