Court discards MacroPoint suit against FourKites

FourKites, a provider of tracking technology, won Friday when a federal judge summarily rejected a patent lawsuit filed by MacroPoint.

"This is a significant victory not only for FourKites, but also for the entire transportation industry. Real-time freight tracking is the core of transportation" said Mathew Elenjickal, FourKites' CEO. "We believe that the industry is best served when we compete based on the merits of our products in an open marketplace in boardrooms rather than with attorneys in courtrooms."

According to FourKites, in the suit filed earlier this year, MacroPoint charged FourKites with infringing a number of its patents. FourKites’ maintained that it did not infringe any valid claim of the patents. “Further, the claims of the patents themselves were invalid because, among other reasons, the subject matter of the patents was known prior to the filing date of the patents and the patents were not directed to patent- eligible subject matter as stated in the Supreme Court’s recent Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int'l decision. Under Alice, patents are not valid if they claim an abstract idea and do not include an inventive concept,” according to FourKites.

The U.S. District Court in Cleveland agreed with FourKites’ position and issued the following ruling: The MacroPoint patents are invalid under Alice and the lawsuit is dismissed.

Judge Gaughan ruled, “Upon review, the Court finds that the patents-in-suit are directed to the abstract idea of tracking freight.”

The court continued: “Although the patents-in-suit do not entirely foreclose all tracking of freight, the steps in the claimed invention do involve well-understood, routine, conventional activity. Thus, upholding the patents would risk disproportionately tying up the use of the underlying conventional steps. Accordingly, [MacroPoint’s] argument is not well-taken.”

Because the court ruled that the patents were invalid, the lawsuit was dismissed and the case closed.

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