Walgreen Co. has filed lawsuits against CVS Caremark Corp., Rite Aid Corp. and Shopko Stores Operating Co., claiming that their mobile applications infringe on its “refill by scan” technology patent.


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Lawsuits center on patent for Rx app

February 17th, 2014

NEW YORK – Walgreen Co. has filed lawsuits against CVS Caremark Corp., Rite Aid Corp. and Shopko Stores Operating Co., claiming that their mobile applications infringe on its “refill by scan” technology patent.

Mobile pharmacy technology provider mscripts LLC is also named in the suit against Shopko. Walgreens filed the lawsuits on January 31 in U.S. District Court in Delaware.

In the suits, Walgreens said that on January 7 it was issued a patent for “refill by scan” functionality — U.S. Patent No. 8,626,530 (the “530 Patent”), titled “System and Method for Express Refill.” The drug chain charges CVS, Rite Aid and Shopko with unlicensed use of its refill scanning technology in their mobile apps. Walgreens noted in the suits that it “owns, offers and operates” mobile apps for iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone, Android and BlackBerry devices that include the refill scan capability protected by the patent.

“After identifying an opportunity to make the process of refilling prescriptions easier and more convenient for our customers, we led the industry with the creation of the Refill by Scan mobile device application,” Walgreens said in a statement. “In recognition of this industry-leading technology, Walgreens was awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent Office, which has unfortunately since been adopted by others without our permission. As a leader in pharmacy innovation for many decades, we believe it’s important for us to protect our intellectual property.”

The “refill by scan” technology enables smartphone users to order refills by scanning a prescription bar code with their mobile device’s camera. Walgreens launched the Refill by Scan tool in November 2010.

Walgreens said in the suits that it seeks damages from CVS, Rite Aid, Shopko and mscripts and a court order for them to stop using the technology.

CVS declined to comment on the pending litigation. Rite Aid and Shopko didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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