Montreal, February 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – I-MED Pharma Inc., announced today that TearLab’s efforts to keep the I-PEN® Osmolarity System off the market proved unsuccessful. I-MED Pharma wins patent case against TearLab, with costs awarded to I-MED.
In February 2016, TearLab brought a suit in the Federal Court of Canada alleging that the I-PEN® sold in Canada by I-MED Pharma infringed Canadian Patent No. 2,494,540. TearLab sells the TearLab Osmolarity System in Canada. TearLab sought a permanent injunction to keep the I-PEN® off the market as well as damages.
On February 12, 2018, the Court found in I-MED Pharma’s favour. I-MED successfully invalidated each and every claim of the Patent that TearLab relied upon to block the sale of the I-PEN® in Canada. The Court awarded costs in favour of I-MED Pharma.
“This is a very important win for us” said Daniel Hofmann, CEO of I-MED. “Our patented I-PEN® device responds to a market need for an affordable, reliable, efficient hand-held device for use by eye-care professionals when diagnosing and monitoring dry eye disease. We invested significant time and resources in order to deliver an innovative and game changing product to our customers. Our market share is growing as more eye-care professionals realize the benefits of the I-PEN®. Rather than compete fairly with us in the marketplace, TearLab commenced a lawsuit seeking to keep us off the market. Today’s judgement affirms our right to sell the I-PEN® and compete freely in the marketplace. The patent claims that TearLab sought to rely upon to shield their TearLab Osmolarity System from competition, have now been invalidated by the Court.”
Findings by the Court include:
- Sullivan, Inventor and Chief Scientific Officer of TearLab:
- With regard to Dr. Sullivan, the Court found that “his credibility was weakened by his admissions of making inaccurate and exaggerated claims in his marketing publications.”
- Sullivan co-authored a marketing document for the system that became the TearLab Osmolarity System in 2003. The Court found “[i]t also contained inaccurate statements despite being directed at investors”.
- Sullivan designed a TearLab marketing document in 2010, “when he was the company’s Chief Scientific Officer. It was designed to look like a scientific journal article and handed out at a conference attended by ophthalmologists and optometrists, who may have purchased the device after TearLab obtained regulatory approval.”
- The Claims in the Patent that TearLab Alleged were Infringed are All Invalid:
- All the claims in the patent that TearLab alleged were infringed were held to be “invalid” by the Court because the subject matter of each of those claims would have been obvious to the person skilled in the art at the claimed date of the invention in the Patent.
- The Court also found that a significant number of the claims in the patent at issue were “invalid” because they are not novel. The claims were anticipated by work done or inventions claimed by researchers and scientists prior to the claimed date of the invention in the Patent.
- The Court stated that the invalidity of the claims was the result of a broad construction of the asserted claims. The Court found that if the ‘540 Patent had been construed narrowly, then I-MED would have also won because the Court would have held that none of the claims would have been infringed.
I-MED Pharma Inc. is a privately held Canadian company, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, servicing Canadian ophthalmologists, optometrists and the global eye care community. Established almost thirty years ago, I-MED Pharma creates and distributes innovative medical, surgical and veterinary eye care products worldwide. It continually researches, develops and sources the most effective and advanced solutions to eye disorders like cataracts, corneal degeneration, dry eye, glaucoma and Meibomian gland disease.
I-MED Pharma is proud to have been at the forefront of treating Dry Eye Syndrome as a serious disease and invests heavily into education and developing effective dry eye products. I-MED Pharma’s ocular surface disease product range includes diagnostic tools, ocular hygiene, nutrition, dry eye drops and ocular occlusion devices.