Blog Tag: Lawsuits

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Fitbit

Fitbit, Inc., a manufacturer of wearable health technology, is involved in a national class action lawsuit filed on January 5, 2016 in the Northern District of California over two of its wristbands, the Charge HR and the Surge, based on their “PurePulse” LED-based technology used for tracking heart rates.  Generally, the lawsuit alleges that the heart-rate monitor used in those wristbands, advertised under the now amusing tag line “every beat counts,” does not monitor heart beats correctly.  This allegedly especially occurs during times of intensive exercise.

In a statement to ArsTechnica responding to the lawsuit, a Fitbit spokesperson wrote, “We do not believe this case has merit.  Fitbit stands behind our heart rate technology… [b]ut it’s also important to note that Fitbit trackers are designed to provide meaningful data to our users to help them reach their health and fitness goals, and are not intended to be scientific or medical devices.”  Further, Fitbit released another statement after the lawsuit saying that “PurePulse provides better overall heart rate tracking than cardio machines at the gym.”

Fitbit is also involved in another class action lawsuit filed in May 2015 regarding its sleep tracking data, and is also involved in several suits against rival wearable-device maker Jawbone.

Boston Scientific Files Second IPR Petition Against UAB Patent

Boston Scientific Files Second IPR Petition Against UAB Patent

Boston Scientific Corporation (“Boston Scientific”) filed a petition with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on April 10, 2015 requesting inter partes review of U.S. Patent No. 6,266,563 (“the ’563 Patent”).  The petition states that the ’563 Patent is owned by the UAB Research Foundation.  The petition has been assigned Case No. IPR2015-01038.

The ’563 Patent is entitled “Method and Apparatus for Treating Cardiac Arrhythmia,” and lists as inventors Bruce H. KenKnight, Raymond E. Ideker, Robert S. Booker, III, and Stephen J. Hahn.  The ’563 Patent states that it “relates to methods and an implantable apparatus for treating cardiac arrhythmia, particularly ventricular fibrillation.”  Figure 1 from the ’563 Patent is shown below.

The petition seeks review of all twenty of the ’563 Patent’s claims “as obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103 based on U.S. Patent No. 5,181,511 (‘Nickolls’), U.S. Patent No. 5,433,729 (‘Adams’), and the knowledge of a person of ordinary skill in the art.”

The petition states that the ’563 Patent has been asserted by the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the UAB Research Foundation against Boston Scientific and Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. in a lawsuit filed on September 22, 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.  The complaint alleges that Boston Scientific and Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Boston Scientific, infringe the ’563 Patent by making, using, offering to sell or selling cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (“CRT-Ds”), “including but not limited to the Incepta, Enrgen, Cognis, and Livian CRT-Ds . . . .”

The petition also states that Boston Scientific previously filed a petition requesting inter partes review of the ’563 Patent, alleging that all twenty claims were invalid as anticipated under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b) by U.S. Patent No. 5,797,967 to KenKnight.  The prior petition was filed on March 23, 2015, and was assigned Case No. IPR2015-00918.

Orthopaedic Hospital Sues DePuy Orthopaedics on Polyethylene Implant Technology

On February 24, 2014, Orthopaedic Hospital filed a lawsuit against DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.  The complaint alleges that DePuy’s AOX Antioxidant Polyethylene for its Sigma and LCS Rotating Platform Knee Systems infringes U.S. Patent No. 8,658,710 (“the ‘710 Patent”).

The ‘710 Patent is entitled “Oxidation-Resistant and Wear-Resistant Polyethylenes for Human Joint Replacements and Methods for Making Them” and was issued on February 25, 2014.  According to the Abstract, the patent describes “methods for making oxidation-resistant and wear-resistant polyethylenes and medical implants made therefrom.  Preferably, the implants are components of prosthetic joints, e.g., a bearing component of an artificial hip or knee joint.”

According to its website, Orthopaedic Hospital is a nonprofit corporation that treats children with musculoskeletal disorders and conducts orthopaedic research.  Its primary location is in downtown Los Angeles.  According to its website, DePuy Orthopaedics , a Johnson & Johnson company, offers orthopaedic devices and supplies, including hip, knee, extremity, trauma, cement, and operating room products.