Canadian Court Rules in Favor of I-MED in Patent Dispute Related to Dry Eye Treatment


MONTREAL—A Canadian Federal Court of Appeal has ruled in favor of I-MED Pharma Inc., a Canadian company specializing in dry eye diagnosis and management, in a lawsuit related to its efforts to continue marketing and selling its I-PENOsmolarity System, according to the court decision filed late last week. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by TearLab Corp. related to a judgment of the Federal Court in February 2018. “At the end of the day, I agree with the respondent I-MED that the appellant finds itself in a conundrum,” Judge Yves de Montigny wrote in his June 13 decision. “It cannot at once argue that the judge’s findings on infringement are correct and dispute the claim construction upon which those findings were made.

If the claims are to be construed broadly to include in vivo uses and capture the I-Pen for the purpose of infringement, they cannot simultaneously be restricted with the limitations proposed by the appellant’s expert in order to save them from invalidity due to obviousness and anticipation,” the judge added.

He ruled that the TearLab appeal should be dismissed.

“This decision confirms I-MED Pharma’s right to offer an affordable, reliable, efficient, hand-held device for use by eyecare professionals when diagnosing and monitoring dry eye disease,” I-MED chief executive officer Daniel Hofmann said in an announcement on Monday. “We have invested significant time and resources in order to deliver an innovative and game-changing product to our customers. … [This] judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal reaffirms our right to sell the I-PEN Osmolarity System and compete freely in the marketplace.”

In February 2016, TearLab, of Escondido, Calif., filed suit in the Federal Court of Canada alleging the I-PEN Osmolarity System infringed Canadian Patent No. 2,494,540. TearLab sells the TearLab Osmolarity System in Canada. However, in February 2018, the Federal Court found in I-MED Pharma’s favor.