Geotab started 2016 on a winning note with a decisive victory in a patent infringement lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas brought against Geotab by Rothschild Location Technologies (RLT), a non-practicing entity.
In the fall of 2015, RLT sued Geotab and two of its resellers, among others, for infringement of an RLT patent related to the use of a GPS device to retrieve an address. RLT had targeted more than 50 companies for infringement of this patent, including giants of the automotive and telecom industries.
Many of the targeted companies settled claims brought under this patent. Geotab, on its own behalf and on behalf of the named resellers, vigorously defended the lawsuit, as part of Geotab’s ongoing strategy to take a stand against the questionable business practices of non-practicing entities (see “Geotab Beats Trademark Troll in Europe” for another example of Geotab’s activities in this regard). Very early in the litigation process as a pre-emptive move, Geotab’s counsel filed a Section 101 motion, arguing that the patent was directed to an abstract idea, and therefore the case should be dismissed for lack of patentable subject matter per the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v. CLS Bank.
In a detailed 17-page ruling, Magistrate Judge John Love in the Eastern District of Texas granted Geotab’s motion to dismiss, finding all 15 claims of the asserted patent invalid as directed to an abstract idea that is ineligible for patent protection. Given this ruling, not only are the lawsuits against Geotab and its resellers dismissed, but RLT’s patent was declared invalid, meaning that RLT can no longer use it as the basis for similar lawsuits in the future.
Geotab is thankful the court recognized that RLT’s patent was invalid as an improper attempt to monopolize an “abstract idea.”
This victory has further strengthened Geotab’s resolve to stand up for what is right and not fall prey to other non-practicing entities who use scare tactics to coerce quick settlements from defendants in lawsuits without merit.
Geotab’s cross-functional internal patent litigation team, including Vice President of Intellectual Property Derek Smith, General Counsel Laurence Prystawski, and Executive Vice-President Dirk Schlimm collaborated with the expert litigation team at Wolf Greenfield & Sacks, P.C., which included Michael Albert, Jason Honeyman, and Justin Colannino to develop and execute this innovative and aggressive strategy and dispose of this lawsuit in a convincing manner.
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