U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Holds in CliniComp’s Favor Clearing Way for $150M Jury Trial

On April 20, Manatt received the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, on Cerner’s and athenahealth’s appeal, the court holding in favor of our client CliniComp International in every single respect. 

CliniComp is a privately held, San Diego-based company that develops electronic health record (EHR) and other information technology (IT) solutions for hospitals, integrated delivery networks, academic medical centers and other acute care providers. In 2017, CliniComp filed suit against Cerner Corp., an EHR technology company, in the U.S. District Court, Southern District, California, and in 2018, filed suit against athenahealth, an EHR cloud services company, in the U.S. District Court, Western District, Texas. Both suits claim that the defendants infringed CliniComp’s patent covering operation of an enterprise health care management system.

In 2018, Cerner filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) challenging the validity of the CliniComp patent. Athenahealth later joined that request. At Cerner’s request, the litigation in San Diego was stayed pending the outcome of the IPR. Athenahealth, however, never requested a stay and the Texas litigation has proceeded and is now awaiting a post-pandemic trial date. In March 2020, following trial, including a hearing, a three-judge panel of the PTAB issued a 93-page opinion finding a vast majority of the challenged claim to not be unpatentable.  

Cerner and athenahealth appealed the PTAB’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit.

In this latest development, the Federal Circuit issued a unanimous per curiam decision, holding in CliniComp’s favor on all counts. The court affirmed the PTAB’s decision on claim 1 and its dependent claims and ruled that Cerner and athenahealth failed to raise any issue of merit on the appeal. The court relied on the evidence presented by CliniComp to the PTAB and quoted directly from the testimony of CliniComp’s technical expert.

With the validity of CliniComp’s patent confirmed on appeal, we look forward to having the stay lifted in our case against Cerner and to continuing our litigation against athenahealth, where we intend to present a $150 million damages claim before an eight-person jury in the U.S. District Court, Western District, Texas.

Manatt is thrilled with this decision and commends technology and IP litigation partner Amar L. Thakur for leading the Manatt team representing CliniComp, with support from partner Bruce Zisser and counsel Shawn E. McDonald.

For further information about this decision, please see Law360 and Bloomberg Law’s coverage of this case.

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