- Insulet filed a lawsuit against insulin patch-pump maker EOFlow earlier this month, claiming the company copied patented components of its Omnipod devices.
- Three former Insulet executives who joined EOFlow were also named as defendants, as was Insulet’s contract manufacturer Flex, which also entered into a contract with EOFlow.
- Insulet filed the lawsuit as Medtronic plans to acquire EOFlow for $738 million. Medtronic is looking to revitalize its diabetes business after it recently resolved a warning letter over quality issues that stopped it from bringing new insulin pumps and glucose monitors to market in the U.S.
Insulet claims that EOFlow’s EOPatch insulin pump violates three of the patents for its Omnipod patch-pump, and that the product designs “are practically identical.” The company filed the lawsuit on Aug. 3 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
EOFlow, which is headquartered in South Korea, makes its EOPatch insulin pump and a paired controller device. It filed for 510(k) clearance in December.
Insulet alleges that when EOFlow was founded in 2011, it started out with a patch-pump that used a different technology than Omnipod to deliver insulin, but around 2016, “EOFlow pivoted and launched a plan to brazenly copy Insulet’s Omnipod System.”
Insulet claims EOPatch’s exterior design looks “strikingly similar” to its product. It also alleges many of the interior components are similar. While EOPatch uses a different type of actuator than Omnipod, “nearly every other aspect of the EOPatch pumping mechanism is substantially identical to Insulet’s Omnipod product,” according to the lawsuit.
The company also filed claims against three former employees with ties to EOFlow. Luis Malave, Insulet’s former COO; Steven DiIanni, former director of mechanical engineering; and Ian Welsford, former director of regulatory affairs, were named defendants in the lawsuit.
Malave is now president of EOFlow, and Welsford is the company’s chief technology officer. DiIanni, who is the inventor of the three patents in question, was hired as a consultant for EOFlow, according to the lawsuit.
The company also alleged that its manufacturer, Flex, misappropriated trade secrets.
“Protecting customer intellectual property is one of our highest priorities. Because this is pending litigation, we will have no further comment,” a spokesperson for Flex wrote in an email.
Insulet is seeking double damages for willful and malicious appropriation, a “reasonable royalty” and attorney’s fees. It also seeks a permanent injunction barring the sale of products containing or derived from its trade secrets.
In March, a court in Germany issued a preliminary injunction against EOFlow based on a separate patent case, Insulet CEO Jim Hollingshead said in an investor call last week.
EOFlow did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.