IBJNews

Roche hit with new breed of patent suit

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Roche Diagnostics Corp. has been hit with a new kind of patent lawsuit that attorneys are calling “the latest menace to business.”

Roche Diagnostics, a Swiss company that keeps its U.S. headquarters in Indianapolis, has been sued for marking its Accu-Chek blood glucose monitors and accessories with patents that are expired. Illinois resident David O’Neill has sued on behalf of the U.S. government to recover damages of $500 per infraction.

Since Roche sells millions of monitors and test strips—a kit of both ranges from about $15 to $30 a pop—a penalty of $500 each could be huge. If O'Neill recovers any damages from Roche, he would split them with the federal government.

Roche’s total U.S. revenue from diabetes monitors was about $670 million last year, according to San Francisco-based Close Concerns, a diabetes market research firm based in San Francisco.

“Roche is a sophisticated company and has many decades of experience applying for, obtaining and litigating patents," O’Neill’s attorneys allege in the lawsuit, adding, "Roche knows, or reasonably should know, of the requirements of [the law.]”

O’Neill’s lawsuit against Roche is one of several “qui tam” lawsuits he has filed this year against companies for marking their products with expired patents. In fact, 50 similar lawsuits were filed against companies during the first three months of the year, according to a National Law Review article written by attorneys at Chicago-based law firm Vedder Price P.C.

These suits began after a federal circuit court decision on Dec. 29, which said improper patent marking on products could be punished not as one continuous act, for a maximum penalty of $500, but for each instance, with every instance carrying a maximum fine of $500.

“This is the perfect storm for the marking trolls [such as David O’Neill],” wrote the Vedder Price attorneys, “since their end game is a quick, large settlement, not protracted litigation. Either way, the patent owner could be on the hook for a considerable sum.”

O’Neill’s case against Roche Diagnostics was filed in Feburary in federal court in Illinois, but in late July was moved, at Roche’s request, to federal court in Indianapolis.

Calls to O’Neill’s attorneys, who are based in Chicago, were not returned.

Roche Diagnostics spokesman Mike Weist said the company regards the lawsuit as “without merit.”
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

  3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

  4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.

ADVERTISEMENT