Birch Stewart on the McKesson Tech v. Epic Systems Decision

Leonard R. Svensson, Partner at Birch Stewart Kolasch & Birch, sent in this post discussing the recent McKesson Technologis v. Epic Systems decision and how it may impact those in the medical diagnostic or treatment fields.

On April 12th the Federal Circuit issued another decision related to joint infringement situations. This should be another warning to those drafting method claims, particularly in the medical diagnostic or treatment fields. The decision perhaps also portends a future en banc review of the issue. This follows the pattern of several decisions discussed by my partner, Jerry Murphy (Practice Center Contributor), and I at PLI’s 5th Annual Patent Law Institute during our lecture on Federal Circuit decisions in 2010 in the life sciences field.  (Click on the link to view Mr. Svensson and Mr. Murphy’s presentation “All Things Chemical & Biotechnical At The PTO“).

In the April 12th case of McKesson Technologies v. Epic Systems, the patent owner McKesson tried to enforce a patent on a method of electronically communicating between health care providers and patients. Epic Systems developed software and licensed it to heath care providers who used the software to communicate with patients. But since the steps of the method claims were performed by a combination of the patients and the health care providers, the Federal Circuit agreed with the District Court’s finding on summary judgment of no infringement by Epic Systems. (more…)