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OptraHealth Sues Invitae for Infringement of AI-Based Chatbot Patent

This story has been updated with information about Invitae's earlier lawsuit.

NEW YORK — OptraHealth has sued Invitae for alleged infringement of a patent on chatbot functionality that automates the return of genetic test results to patients.

San Jose, California-based OptraHealth filed the suit Friday in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, three months after Invitae sued OptraHealth in the same court seeking a declaratory judgment that it did not violate the OptraHealth patent.

In the new suit, OptraHealth claims that Invitae's Gia chatbot offering violates US Patent 10,754,882, which OptraHealth received in August 2020. The patent is for artificial intelligence technology that automates clinical workflows to return test results and assist physicians in making "real-time, data-driven rich choices that lead to generating better patient experiences and improved health outcomes," according to the court filing.

OptraHealth has embedded its technology in its GeneFax "digital genetic assistant." Invitae acquired Gia, which stands for Genetic Information Assistant, when it purchased Clear Genetics in 2019 for $50 million.

An Invitae press release dated Feb. 23, 2021 touted a new feature in Gia that added "telemedicine-friendly conversation through receiving and understanding genetic test results." OptraHealth said in the suit that it informed San Francisco-based Invitae of the perceived patent infringement in August 2021.

Invitae filed suit Feb. 7 asking the federal court to declare that its technology does not infringe on the OptraHealth patent.

Gia was developed in collaboration with genetic counselors as an aid for consenting patients for genetic testing and research, gauging risk and suitability for testing, assessing insurance coverage, and pre- and post-test education. Patients can ask Gia questions and the chatbot uses natural language processing to respond.  

OptraHealth is seeking an order temporarily enjoining Inviate from offering its technology as the trial proceeds and judgment of infringement of the patent. It is also seeking a monetary award for past and future infringement and attorney's fees.

A spokesperson for Invitae said that the company does not comment on pending litigation.

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