Medtronic sues Insulet

I repost from general section:

Medtronic sues Insulet over 2 patents for remote controlling a pump
Complaint link
Patent 878 link
Patent 276 link
I'm upset, because those patents look generic at all and because Medtronic never never built a true remote for its pumps.
I hope Insulet survives this, and at least sells its pods here in Europe (till Medtronic sues here too)

I don't quite understand this but I hope Insulet doesn't go out of business. I love my OmniPod. And if they are closed down, what do WE do?

Here's what I read a few days ago about this. I find this all very disappointing. Medtronic doesn't even make a patch pump.

Insulet can simply modify their pods to remove the beep when a command is received; it's not necessary because the PDM verifies the status of the pod after every command and the beep doesn't guarantee anything - it can't be heard in a noisy environment.

Patenting just a remote control, without something extra, must surely be impossible; it's more than 100 years now since the original remote control patent:

The original patent is pretty general, and subsequent technical developments have resulted in a whole set of off-the-shelf electronic components allowing implementation of arbitrary device control.

On the other hand Medronic's patents, at least from the description, are fundamentally flawed because simple remote control is not sufficient for an insulin pump. There has to be two way communication to ensure that the system is fail safe. My guess is that Insulet has patents on aspects of this. The Tesla patent above did not cover feedback and the commonly found remote control systems have no feedback to the controller.

John Bowler

Anyone else wondering why it's taken (I'm not sure how old Insulet is) but at least over 5 years for them to do this?

Medtronic is who sued the company who made the Cozmo right? That's why I always swore I would never buy a pump from them. It makes me so mad that our ability to manage this disease has to be subjected to their games.

Very well said.

I knew about this reading in childrenwithdiabetes forum (link)

Diabetes: Medtronic sues Insulet over OmniPod device

October 9, 2012 by MassDevice staff

Medtronic sues Insulet for allegedly infringing a pair of its patents with Insulet's OmniPod insulin management system for diabetes.

Medtronic's (NYSE:MDT) MiniMed subsidiary sued Insulet (NSDQ:PODD) for patent infringement, alleging that Insulet's OmniPod insulin management system infringes a pair of MiniMed patents.

The lawsuit, filed Sept. 18 in the U.S. District Court for Central California, alleges that Bedford, Mass.-based Insulet's OmniPod, a wireless insulin delivery system for diabetes, trespasses on a pair of patents that are licensed to Medtronic MiniMed. Both the so-called "'276 patent" and the "'878 patent" are called "External Infusion Device With Remote Programming, Bolus Estimator And/Or Vibration Alarm Capabilities."

Fridley, Minn.-based Medtronic claims that Insulet has known about the alleged infringement of the first patent "since at least April 27, 2005, when Insulet filed a patent application with the United States Patent Office ... which referenced the '276 patent. In addition, in 2007, Medtronic sent Insulet' s then President and CEO, Mr. Duane DeSisto, a letter advising Insulet of the '276 patent," according to court documents.

Insulet was allegedly made aware of the '878 patent "at least as early as a 2007 letter from Medtronic to Insulet's then-president and CEO, Mr. Duane DeSisto," according to court documents.

Medtronic MiniMed is seeking a jury trial, judgments of infringement and willful infringement (the latter would treble any damages awarded), injunctions barring further infringement, damages and legal fees.

I don't know much about legal issues but any chance we can sue Medtronic for trying to create an insulin pump monopoly? Probably not but it upsets me that when they can't get patients fairly by offering the best equipment and service they get them unfairly by making it so no one else can operate in the field.

I heard from a friend on facebook that Medtronic lawsuits are the reason the Cozmo went away and the Solo never came out. Both patch pump makers gave up rather than fighting the behemoth that is Medtronic. Now they are going after Insulet, our only tubeless option?? Ugh. We will never use a Medtronic pump.

I would prefer if the pods did not beep anyway. Is this Medtronic's main claim re: patent infringement?

That was my question as's hoping it takes another 7 years for legalities to kick in. Maybe by then there will be better options for us anyway. Who is closer to the artificial pancreas, I wonder. It does make one feel unfavorably toward Medtronic.

As I reported "below", Medtronic says it sent a letter on 2005 an another one on 2007.
It will be interesting to see if they'll do something with Roche too, which is coming in the USA with its Combo micro, with a color remote control.
Animas Vibe is without remote, and I wonder if they received a letter too and decided to avoid problems.

The loosers are we all diabetics. I hope somebody finds "previous art", something delivering "liquids" even in the hospital and controlled by a remote, before 1998. Does anybody know ?

Otherwise I think a boycottage cold be justified by Medtronic behaviour as a monopolist on micro pumps remotely controlled (any patch pump like Omnipod,Solo,Jewel pump and many tethered pumps like Animas Ping, Roche and Dana)

According to this site (link) those patents will expire in 6 years and 8 months.

If Insulet can find a "analog system" remote controlled existing before the filing time of those patents it is safe.
I think those patents are so generic to apply to intravenous systems as well.
This one from Siemens (link) could be sued as well ... if something like it didn't existed before 1998 ...

I haven't read the claims; the links above just lead to summaries, no one has downloaded the actual patents to the web site. I'm guessing that it is the audible feedback which is the guts of the claim since everything else in the summary is obvious and/or not specific to a remote control insulin pump.

Patents last 17 years

Are you sure the links are not the patent themself ? They are pretty long docs (see

Those patents are from 1998, from that site calc it reads they last 20 years ..

The Apple/Samsung circus shows how ridiculous patent law is. I'm all for protecting intellectual property but when litigation is used in a broad and sweeping manner to absolutely crush innovation then it needs to be reevaluated.

I would completely understand if Insulet was selling something that Medtronic had already put on the market but Medtronic is just sitting on something that amounts to vaporwear for them personally.

The worst casse scenario, they crush Insulet and leave us all high and dry with nothing even comparable to offer, even if we wanted to kowtow to the overlord.