vRad Sues Competitors Over Patent Infringement

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Teleradiology provider Virtual Radiologic (vRad) has filed a patent infringement suit against radiology technology and services company Tandem Radiology and two of its teleradiology customers, Direct Radiology and Imaging Advantage.

Lawyers for Minneapolis-based vRad and its subsidiary, NightHawk Radiology Services, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona as Tandem Radiology is based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

vRad is claiming that certain Tandem Radiology employees and founders have infringed on four patents and copyrights held by vRad and also stole vRad trade secrets. In addition, vRad’s suit holds that by using Tandem’s platform, Tandem customers Direct Radiology and Imaging Advantage infringed on vRad’s patent rights.

The four patents in question relate to automated teleradiolgy study assignment, automated order creation and teleradiolgy image processing. According to the company, vRad currently holds 11 issued or allowed U.S. patents, as well as one patent that is pending

In the lawsuit, vRad is seeking a court order to force the defendants to stop marketing, selling and using systems with technology that infringes on vRad patents. In addition, vRad is seeking monetary damages.

In the press release, vRad CEO Jim Burke noted that the company was not just filing suit to stop a competitor. vRad is seeking to protect its rights and the rights of all those who invest in research and development to earn a fair return on that investment under the law. According to Burke, vRad’s patented technology is the result of the company investing millions of dollars over many years in developing and commercializing its systems and processes, and the company is obligated to defend that investment.

“We have a duty to our radiologists, investors, employees, clients and patients to protect our investments, and to file this lawsuit to ensure that vRad will be able to continue delivering innovative solutions to enhance patient care, practice performance and physician satisfaction,” he stated.