Dexcom and Abbott are currently going head-to-head over a number of patents covering their respective glucose monitoring devices, known as continuous glucose monitoring, or CGMs. The dispute spans several countries, among them the UK, Germany and the US.
In the UK nullity and infringement proceedings, parties have asserted 17 patents overall. So far, judges have heard three trials, while the courts have listed two further trials for November 2024 and January 2025. According to estimates by the International Diabetes Federation, almost 540 million people globally live with diabetes. As such, the market is vast; the value of the connected medical devices involved in glucose monitoring is only set to grow.
Abbott claims infringement
The trial concerned Abbott’s EP 2 549 918. The patent holder accuses Dexcom of infringing the property right with its G7 Applicator, while Dexcom counterclaimed for invalidity of the patent based on added matter.
However, the High Court has rejected Abbot’s infringement claim and also found the patent valid (case ID: HP-2021-000025). In autumn 2022, the EPO Boards of Appeal had also maintained EP 918 in amended form (case ID: T 0629/19).
CGM technology enables people with diabetes to monitor the level of glucose in their blood. This is achieved by inserting a tiny sensor beneath the skin, which respectively forms part of a wearable unit adhered to the skin. The sensor measures the concentration of glucose in surrounding tissue and transmits information to a receiver, such as a smartphone, so the user can easily see if their blood glucose is within a normal range.
Dexcom files at the UPC
Given the growing market value of the devices, the two opponents are fighting fiercely before national courts, as well as at the EPO and the UPC. In 2022, for example, the Regional Court Mannheim dismissed a case brought by Abbott against Dexcom.
Meanwhile Dexcom has brought actions before the UPC in the Munich local division (case IDs: ACT_583791/2023 and ACT_547520/2023) and the Paris local division (case ID: ACT_583778/2023) regarding four patents owned by Dexcom (EP 3 831 282, EP 3 797 685, EP 4 111 949 and EP 3 435 866).