NEW YORK—Ocular telehealth company 20/20 Vision Center LLC announced Friday that it has filed a patent infringement suit against a competitor, DigitalOptometrics. The announcement by the Garden City, N.Y.-based company, which does business as 20/20Now, came two days after VMAIL reported that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Patent No. 9,980,644 B2 to DigitalOptometrics LLC for its telehealth optometry system. The patent, issued May 29, 2018, relates to “a remote comprehensive eye examination system,” performed by a licensed optometrist utilizing real time audio/visual communication between patient and optometrist.

20/20 Vision Center’s lawsuit, filed April 9, 2018 in New York Eastern District Federal Court, claims that DigitalOptometrics is infringing on its U.S. patent, No. 9,230,062. That patent, issued Jan. 5, 2016, covers “new and improved telehealth systems, methods and computer software for enabling remotely located eye health practitioners to connect with customers at exam sites and perform vision and eye examinations via a computing network,” according to court documents.

20/20 Vision Center is seeking a jury trial. It has asked the court to prohibit DigitalOptometrics from “further direct, indirect and/or joint infringement of the ‘062 Patent,” and is seeking compensation for damages of an unspecified amount. 20/20 Vision Center said in a statement that it also intends to file for a post grant review of DigitalOptometrics’s patent with the U.S. Patent Office.

The lawsuit is the latest to emerge from the rapidly expanding and highly competitive ocular telehealth category. VMAIL reported in October, 2017 that Opternative sued Warby Parker, claiming that the brick-and-click retailer had stolen its online eye test. That suit has yet to be resolved.