A Medical Device Daily

Health Discovery (HDC; Savannah, Georgia) reported that it successfully concluded its patent infringement lawsuit against Equbits (Livermore, California).

HDC filed its initial action on June 26, alleging that Equbits had infringed three HDC patents, which relate to systems and/or methods for enhancing knowledge from data using its Support Vector Machine (SVM) technology.

The ruling prohibits Equbits from any future use or sale of products utilizing HDC's patented SVM technology, HDC said.

"This judgment strengthens our licensing posture in the marketplace and sets the appropriate tone for our future enforcement efforts," said Stephen Barnhill, MD, HDC CEO and chairman.

HDC is developing products in the field of pattern recognition technology. Through the application of its technology, HDC is a biology-oriented biomarker discovery company providing all aspects of First-Phase Biomarker Discovery. The company's SVM and other pattern recognition tools have significant application potential in other sizable commercial markets such as radiology, Internet search and spam, homeland security, financial futures, and other areas where analysis of large volumes of complex data is required.

In other court-related news: A Florida business and its owner, who marketed purported height-enhancing pills for kids and young adults, will settle charges of false advertising filed by the Federal Trade Commission.

Defendants Sunny Health Nutrition Technology & Products and its owner, Sunny Sia, will pay $375,000 in consumer redress. The settlement also holds the defendants potentially liable for $1.9 million in the event that they misrepresented their finances.

The FTC charged the defendants with making false and unsubstantiated claims for HeightMax, as well as for two other supplements, Liposan Ultra Chitosan Fat Blocker and Osteo-Vite. The operation advertised HeightMax dietary supplements in English and Spanish on the Internet and radio. Ads also appeared in the back pages of magazines such as Newsweek, Rolling Stone and Maxim.

The FTC complaint charged that claims for the pills were unsubstantiated or false and that the defendants invented William Thomson, a supposed expert who appeared in the ads. According to the complaint, the ads for HeightMax Concentrate and HeightMax Plus misrepresented that:

  • HeightMax increases height in users ages 12-25 over what they would achieve without the product;
  • HeightMax causes users to grow an additional 2 to 3 inches in 6 months;

The ads also cited clinical tests purportedly proving that:

  • HeightMax increases the height of teenagers and young adults;
  • Regular use for six months causes a 10% to 25% gain in height, and use for more than a year causes a 20% to 35% gain in height;
  • HeightMax increases lean body mass and reduces body fat in users ages 12-25.

The complaint also alleged that the defendants made unsubstantiated or false claims for Liposan Ultra Chitosan Fat Blocker, a weight loss supplement, and Osteo-Vite, marketed to older consumers for bone building.

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