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Federal Appeals Court Confirms VGo Does Not Infringe InTouch Health Patents

May 23, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Broadway World

NASHUA, N.H., May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ VGo Communications, the leader in robotic telepresence solutions, announced today that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the lower court's jury trial verdict that VGo does not infringe patents held by InTouch Health. "We are pleased with the verdict", said Peter N. Vicars, CEO VGo Communications, "but continue to be disappointed in the system that grants patents for overly broad claims that can then be used as a sword by companies against their disruptive competitors."

In 2011, InTouch Health brought suit against VGo, claiming VGo was infringing several of its patents. After a trial in late 2012, the jury unanimously found that VGo's remote telepresence robot systems did not infringe any of the asserted patents. In addition the jury found that two of the patents in the case were not valid because the claims were obvious in light of the large amount of prior art that existed at the time the patent applications were filed. In its recent ruling the Federal Appeals Court found that the jury's decision that VGo was not infringing was supported by substantial amounts of evidence. In terms of the patent's invalidity, obviousness is a question of law and the Federal Appeals Court, determining that the jury was not capable of assessing VGo's claims of obviousness, reversed the judgment on invalidity on two of the patents.

As a result of InTouch's lawsuit, separately, VGo requested the patent office re-examine many of InTouch's previously granted patents. In every case, the patent office ordered a reexamination and rejected every claim in every patent. The system allows InTouch to amend the claims by limiting their scope, which InTouch has been doing repeatedly, thus resulting in much weaker patents.

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