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Copyright Goes to England

MMAS Research and Dr. Donald E. Morisky have sued King's College London for unauthorized use of their medical diagnostic tool

On March 7, 2022, MMAS Research and Dr. Donald E. Morisky (collectively "MMAS") filed a Complaint against King's College London and several individuals employed by, or associated, with King's College (jointly "King's College"), alleging that King's College made improper use of MMAS's medical diagnostic tool, the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (the "Scale").

The Scale exists in two different versions and is used to measure how faithful medical patients are in taking their medications (and why they might not be). The data drawn from uses of the Scale is interpreted by a computer program called the MMAS Research Widget Code (the "Code"). MMAS alleges:

  • that King's College violated MMAS's copyrights in the two versions of the Scale and in the Code;
  • that King's College violated a licensing agreement (included as an Exhibit to the Complaint) that was meant to regulate its uses of the Scale and the Code;
  • and that King's College engaged in misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair business practices.

These allegations center on a number of medical studies that King's College and its affiliates conducted and published that made allegedly unauthorized use of the Scale. MMAS claims that these studies also improperly included, and made public, proprietary information about the scoring of the Scale assessments. According to MMAS, those who worked on the studies didn't comply with training provisions in the licensing agreement and, in some cases, illegitimately changed the Scale's scoring criteria.
MMAS seeks actual or statutory damages, injunctive relief, impoundment and destruction of infringing materials, and attorney's fees and costs. King's College has not yet answered the complaint, but we will provide updates when they become available.

We have reported on several similar cases involving MMAS in the past. This post describes the resolution of three of them.