etrials Becomes Sixth EDC Company to Settle Datasci Patent Dispute
Morrisville, N.C.-based etrials has agreed to pay $1.75 million to Maryland-based technology firm Datasci to settle a long running EDC technology patent infringement suit. The settlement includes an upfront licensing fee for three of Datasci’s eClinical legacy products. By licensing the original technologies, Datasci has agreed to dismiss its claim against etrials, giving up any future royalty rights.
“Obviously we are eager to see more companies in this whole marketplace obtain licenses and start to use this technology. We hope there will be many more,” Marc Kozam, Co-founder of Datasci told CenterWatch.
He stated that the majority of companies from the original lawsuit have either settled with or are close to doing so.
The products in the agreement include ASFlash–offered by etrials in 2002 through 2003–and QSCapture and Webcapture, which aren’t current offerings.
“The settlement limits any future exposure and allows us to focus all of our attention on improving etrials' core operations and expanding our market share within the rapidly growing market for eClinical technologies and services," stated Chip Jennings, etrials’ chief executive officer.
Datasci filed similar lawsuits against eClinical companies Phase Forward, Datatrak, DSG and DataLabs. Phase Forward settled for $8.5 million. In August 2006, DataLabs, which was acquired by ClinPhone in October 2006, settled its suit for an undisclosed amount and a nonexclusive licensing arrangement.
DataLabs cited the primary reason for its settlement agreement was because of the possibility of its customers getting sued, which Datasci was exploring. DataTrak settled their case this year for undisclosed amount. DSG's suit was dismissed in March 2007. The terms of the agreement between Datasci and DSG were confidential.
According to Kozam, Datasci is an ongoing venture that is presently developing new innovations to address some of the challenges in the eClinical Marketplace.
“We don’t have end user products at this point, but there are several areas of development that are occurring," he stated.
In 2002, the U.S. Federal Patent and Trade Mark Office awarded Mark L. Kozam, founder of Maryland-based MLK Software a patent— 6,496,827—for the “methods and apparatus for the centralized collection and validation of geographically distributed clinical study data with verification of input data to the distributed system.” The patent was filed in January 2000 and patent office records show the company began the process of obtaining the patent by filing a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in May 1998.