UPDATED: Cerner sued by CliniComp for patent infringement as EHR battle continues

The EHR developer’s suit is tied to patent for an enterprise healthcare management system that gives users access to remote-hosted healthcare apps through a public network.
By Jessica Davis
10:36 AM
Cerner sued by CliniComp

Just a little more than a month after a judge dismissed its lawsuit against the federal government for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs-Cerner EHR deal, CliniComp has fueled a new legal war against the EHR giant.

This time, the California-based EHR developer is claiming that Cerner directly infringed upon its 1997 patent.

Filed this week with the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of California, the suit claims CliniComp CEO Chris Haudenschild filed a patent for an enterprise healthcare information management system that gives users access to remote-hosted healthcare applications through a public network.

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The suit alleges Cerner’s remote hosting capabilities on its Millennium architecture mirror the technology described in CliniComp’s patent. Clinicomp is asking for permanent injunctive relief and treble damages as a result of Cerner’s “willful infringement.”

Further, the company is asking for an award of prejudgment and post-judgment interest, costs and other expenses, in addition to other and further relief judged by the court.

“In 1999 [the CEO] recognized the challenge facing healthcare enterprise and conceived of a system that would take advantage of the emerging power of the internet to solve the IT infrastructure dilemma,” the suit reads.

“Rather than have each healthcare enterprise host its own IT infrastructure and be saddled with the burden of maintain and upgrading that infrastructure, Haudenschild envisioned a system where the primary components of the IT infrastructure… would be hosted remote from the healthcare enterprise.”

This is not CliniComp’s first battle with the EHR giant. The company filed suit against the government this summer for the no-bid contract VA gave to Cerner to replace its legacy EHR. A judge dismissed that case in late November based on jurisdiction -- but further details explained CliniComp couldn’t have competed for that contract.

CliniComp later told the VA it would drop its lawsuit if the VA would allow the EHR developer to prove to the agency it could handle the contract for less. So far, there’s been no public response as to whether the VA will take the company up on its offer.

A company spokesperson said this lawsuit is separate from its ongoing concerns with VA's no-bid contract with Cerner. The lawsuit is based solely on the assessment that Cerner is infringing upon its patent. The company said it's looking into other potential infringement against other vendors.

This suit could signal more lawsuits against other EHR vendors, given similarities in the technology.

"Over the course of the last year, we've determined after a careful analysis that Cerner is directly infringing on our patented technology," Haudenschild said in an emailed statement. "Today's legal action is simply a necessary step to protect CliniComp's intellectual property that was developed and patented two decades ago."

"Cerner disagrees with the allegations and will aggressively defend the lawsuit," a Cerner spokesperson said in an emailed statement.




Twitter: @JessieFDavis

Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com