Virtually every wearable pump design now available is modeled on the form factor pioneered by Freemie®
EL DORADO HILLS, Calif., June 26, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Dao Health, the American company first to successfully commercialize wearable and concealable breast pumps, has filed a lawsuit in US federal court alleging willful patent infringement against Chiaro Technology Limited, the British-based company behind the "Elvie" brand of breast pumps. Dao Health, which markets its products under the Freemie® brand, first filed patents for its revolutionary devices in 2004 and launched its first product in 2009. After the company launched a full line of wearable breast milk pumps in 2013, it quickly became available through health insurance channels. Freemie® is still the only wearable breast pump widely available and 100% covered for US moms under most health insurance plans.
Inspired by personal challenges arising from the premature birth of the founders' twins, Dao Health evolved from a small, self-financed startup, into a trailblazing pioneer whose founding idea is changing the culture of modern motherhood. Prior to the introduction of Freemie® pumping systems, women were relegated to private rooms, closets, or even airport bathrooms to pump milk for their babies because existing breast pumps required users to undress. After struggling for its first few years while figuring out how to navigate around the roadblocks to women pumping in public, Freemie wearable pump systems finally broke through the traditional cultural barriers. Word spread rapidly thereafter through social media, and today the popularity of wearable designs continues to grow.
Freemie won the "Best of Baby Tech" award in January, 2016 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a leading consumer products trade show that garners worldwide press, as well as a coveted Edison Innovation Award Gold Medal for Health and Wellness, presented in New York City in 2017, with many titans of industry in attendance. Chiaro did not launch its first Elvie pump until late 2018.Virtually every wearable pump design now available is modeled on the form factor pioneered by Freemie®. Wearables have become a viable alternative, as countless moms in reviews say wearable pumps are indispensable in their busy lives to enable continued breastfeeding, which is exclusively recommended for the first six months of a baby's life.
Dao Health is represented by attorneys Meng Xi, Shawn Blackburn and Bryce Barcelo of Susman Godfrey, a Houston-based law firm that is widely regarded in legal circles as one of America's leading litigation firms, together with Andrea Fair of Longview, Texas-based Ward, Smith & Hill, also well known for high-stakes litigation involving intellectual property. The case is Dao Health v. Chiaro Technology Limited, 2:23-CV-00289, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.
ABOUT DAO HEALTH
UCSF and Stanford-trained emergency physician Dr. Stella Dao, Freemie's co-inventor, and her husband, Dan Garbez, conceived their redesign of the traditional breast pump following the premature birth of the couple's twins in 2004. Dr. Dao realized that the demands of her job as an emergency physician presented serious impediments to her ability to breastfeed her twins with the traditional breast pumps available at that time. Dr. Dao knew that for her premature twins, breast milk was critical to their well-being. She also knew that millions of other new moms have urgent and demanding responsibilities, whether at work or at home, that made pumping challenging or impossible. Something had to change.
Most breastfeeding advocates and health professionals tried to address these problems for new moms by focusing on changing policies, such as promoting more maternity leave, or requiring more employers to provide extra breaks and private rooms dedicated for pumping. But Dr. Dao and Mr. Garbez saw a much simpler and quicker solution, by providing a tool for the job that was designed for the actual environment in which it needed to be used. A simple, effective, concealable, wearable pump would give women direct control over how they feed their infants, regardless of their lifestyle, employers, or other prior impediments.
Dr. Dao's approach was radical and revolutionary. In 2019, Dr. Dao was invited by the UCSF School of Medicine, her alma mater and one of the world's premiere health care research institutions, to receive the school's "Audacious Alumni Award". Presenting the award to Dr. Dao, UCSF Chancellor Dr. Sam Hawgood, a neonatologist, said, "Dr. Dao's work stands out for its audacity in challenging an entrenched system that forced a new mother to make the choice either to give up her employment, or to give up on providing the best for the child's health and wellbeing."
Dao Health has recently begun licensing its patents in an effort to encourage more innovation to benefit maternal and infant health. Notably, the first licensee of the company's foundational patents is Medela, the Swiss-based global leader of the industry that has done more than any other company to create the market for breast pumps, and has also sponsored or performed some of the most important basic research into the science of human milk that benefits maternal and infant health globally.
SOURCE Dao Health