United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
present motion, Defendants, The ScottCare Corporation and
Ambucor Health Solutions, Inc., ask that the Court grant
their Motion for judgment on the pleadings or, in the
alternative, summary judgment with respect to Plaintiffs'
asserted claims of United States Patent Nos. 7, 212, 850
(“'850 Patent”) and 7, 907, 996
(“'996 Patent”) because these claims are
patent-ineligible pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 101. For the
reasons set forth more fully below, Defendants' Motion is
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
have alleged that Defendants infringed claims 31 and 32 of
the '850 Patent and claims 1, 12, and 23 of the '996
Patent. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 27-44, Doc. 58.) The
patent claims are allegedly directed to “special
purpose remote cardiac monitoring systems” that are
useful in treating patients with arrhythmias including atrial
fibrillation. (Pls.' Opp'n Defs.' Mot. J.
Pleadings 1, Doc. 207.)
2, 2017, Defendants filed the instant Motion arguing that
Plaintiff is collaterally estopped from alleging infringement
of claim 31 of the '850 Patent and claim 12 of the
'996 Patent following the district court's decision
in CardioNet, LLC, et al. v. InfoBionic, Inc., 2017
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68241 (D. Mass. May 4, 2017). In that case,
in ruling on defendant's motion for judgment on the
pleadings, the court determined that claim 31 of the '850
Patent and claim 12 of the '996 Patent are patent
ineligible pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 101. In
InfoBionic, Inc., the court concluded that claim 31
of the '850 Patent and claim 12 of the '996 Patent
are directed to a common-sense “abstract idea of
correlating one set of data to another.” Id.
at *21. The court explained:
Claim 31 of the '850 Patent and Claim 12 of the '996
Patent, read in conjunction with the patent specifications,
recite a system that receives computer-generated
“arrhythmia information from the monitoring system and
. . . human-assessed arrhythmia information from the
monitoring station, ” U.S. Patent No. 7, 212, 850 col.
9 ll. 48-51, to “selectively present information
regarding the identified events based on the measure of
correlation” between the two sets of information, U.S.
Patent No. 7, 907, 996 col. 1 ll. 45-47. The claimed system
is analogous to a medical professional analyzing the
physiological data and comparing his or her assessment with a
colleague's second opinion. The medical professional also
consolidates his or her assessment with that of his or her
colleague, based on the same physiological data, to arrive at
a more accurate diagnosis. This suggests that the claims are
directed to the abstract idea of “a longstanding,
well-known method of organizing human behavior, ” where
a computer only facilitates such existing practices.
Bascom [Glob. Internet Servs., Inc. v. AT&T
Mobility LLC], 827 F.3d [1341, ] 1348 [(Fed. Cir.
Id. at *18-19. The court further concluded that
“[the two claims at issue] do not add an inventive
concept sufficient to be patent-eligible subject matter under
Section 101.” Id. at *24. The court then
requested additional briefing as to whether the claims at
issue were representative of all of Plaintiffs' '850
and '996 claims. Id. at *31. After considering
the additional briefing, the court found that claim 31 of the
'850 Patent and claim 12 of the '996 Patent were
representative of all of Plaintiffs' claims in the
'850 and '996 Patents. (Ex. D, Doc. 204.)
11, 2015, the Parties negotiated and entered into a
Stipulation, which was intended to remain in effect for the
“remainder of this action.” (Stipulation 1, Doc.
165.) Pursuant to the Parties' Stipulation, ScottCare
agreed that it would “not assert in this action
invalidity of: (a) any claims of CardionNet's United
States Patent Nos. 7, 907, 996 . . . .” (Stipulation
¶ 4, Doc. 165.) ScottCare also stipulated that it would
not challenge the validity of any claim of Patent '850
except claims 31 and 32. (Stipulation ¶¶ 1, 4, Doc.
165.) On June 7, 2017, the Court approved and adopted the
Parties' Stipulation. (Order, Doc. 193.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c), a party may move for
judgment on the pleadings after the pleadings are closed, as
long as the party does so early enough not to delay the
trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). Courts in this Circuit construe
motions for judgment on the pleadings that assert failure to
state a claim under the same standard as motions to dismiss
made pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). Katzenmoyer v. City of
Reading, 158 F.Supp.2d 491, 496 (E.D. Pa. 2001).
“The only notable difference between these two
standards is that the court in a motion on the pleadings
reviews not only the complaint but also the answer and
written instruments attached to the pleadings.”
Sprague v. Neil, No. 1:05-CV-1605, 2007 WL 3085604,
at *2 (M.D. Pa. Oct. 19, 2007).
survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), “a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 570 (2007)). A complaint is
plausible on its face when its factual allegations allow a
court to draw a reasonable inference that a defendant is
liable for the harm alleged. Santiago v. Warminster
Twp., 629 F.3d 121, 128 (3d Cir. 2010). A court must
accept as true all factual allegations contained in a
complaint and interpret them in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff. Argueta v. U.S. Immigration & Customs
Enf't, 643 F.3d 60, 74 (3d Cir. 2011).
argue that the InfoBionic, Inc. decision is a valid
final judgment to which the Court should afford issue
preclusive effect. Plaintiffs maintain that the
InfoBionic, Inc. decision is entitled to no
preclusive effect because it was an interlocutory ruling
which is not appealable; therefore, it cannot constitute a
light of the United States Supreme Court's holding in
Blonder-Tongue Labs. v. University of Illinois
Found., this Court finds that Plaintiffs are
collaterally estopped from alleging infringement of the
'850 Patent and '996 Patent because the court for the
District of Massachusetts has made a prior determination that
the these claims are patent ineligible. 402 U.S. 313 (1971).
The doctrine of collateral estoppel, commonly referred to as
issue preclusion, precludes a party from litigating a second
time an issue that has previously been decided in a former
judicial proceeding. Scooper Dooper, Inc. v. Kraftco
Corp., 494 F.2d 840, 844 (3d Cir. 1974). In
Blonder-Tongue, the Supreme Court unanimously held
that where a patent had been declared invalid in a prior
adjudication, an unrelated defendant in a subsequent action
for infringement may assert a collateral estoppel defense
based on the previous judgment. 402 U.S. at 321; Kaiser
Indus. Corp. v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 515
F.2d 964, 976 (3d Cir. 1975). In its ...