Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Patents and Telemedicine

I have been writing about how telemedicine is finally going mainstream. That is good news. However, sometimes when you get to be popular you also get noticed by, well, others.

One area I worry about is Patent Trolling. According to Wikipedia, the term Patent Troll “is a pejorative term used for a person or company that enforces its patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered (by the party using the term) unduly aggressive or opportunistic, often with no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll.

I provide this information because, over the past fifty years, telemedicine has grown enough to become a potential target of firms that have somehow gained a patent and seek to enforce it by sending out large numbers of certified letters demanding a license. As a technology-based industry, there are many patents that have been filed about various aspects of telemedicine. My advice to vendors and providers alike is to be always vigilent.

Of course, I am not pointing fingers at anyone. However, a few of you may be nodding your heads right now...


  1. Jon,

    I imagine this applies equally to wireless health and mHealth – both consumer and clinical products and services. And while not telemedicine or wireless health-specific, this is a recent example illustrating your point:
    Patent war hits small app developers


    Paul Sonnier
    Vice President, Partner Development, Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance (WLSA)
    Founder, Wireless Health group on LinkedIn
    Twitter: WirelessHealth1

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