CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - December 20, 2016) - FourKites, a provider of advanced real-time tracking technology, announced its second court victory over MacroPoint in a legal battle that has lasted close to two years. On Thursday, December 8th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in favor of FourKites in the case of MacroPoint LLC v. FourKites Inc., case number 16-1286. The court agreed with a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Ohio, that had ruled that MacroPoint's patents in question (U.S. Patent Numbers 8,604,943; 9,070,295; 9,082,097; 9,082,098; and 9,087,313) were invalid because they claimed unpatentable subject matter.
In the lawsuit filed in May 2015, MacroPoint charged FourKites with infringing a number of its patents. FourKites' position was that it did not infringe any valid claim of the patents and that 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 Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int'l decision in 2014. In November, 2015, FourKites won a resounding victory when the federal judge presiding over the case in Ohio summarily rejected MacroPoint's lawsuit and ruled that the patents-in-suit are directed to the abstract idea of tracking freight and "involve[d] only the conventional use of a computer" and "well-understood, routine, conventional activity." MacroPoint appealed the decision, and stated that it "fully expects that the Federal Circuit will agree and reverse the incorrect decision of the lower court."
Instead, the panel of three Federal Circuit judges issued an order affirming FourKites' previous win in the district court in Ohio and upheld the decision that all 5 asserted patents were invalid. And although another patent recently was issued to MacroPoint by the same examiner, that patent has not yet been ruled on by a court and is merely a "continuation" of the 5 invalidated patents, meaning that it shares the same specification as and relates to the same subject matter of those patents. As such, FourKites expects that patent to meet a similar fate.
FourKites is represented in the litigation by the Polsinelli law firm. "Since Alice in 2014, the Federal Circuit has entered a number of decisions that have helped delineate a line between the kind of subject matter that is and is not patentable. These patents were clearly on the 'not patentable' side of the line," said Polsinelli shareholder Adam Weiss. "The Federal Circuit's rapid affirmance validates our client FourKites' long-held view that these patents are directed to nothing more than the abstract idea of tracking freight," added Polsinelli shareholder Gary Hood, who argued the appeal on behalf of FourKites.
"Our commitment to protect our customers, partners and resellers who are using our technology is no less than our commitment to bring real innovation into the logistics space," FourKites CEO Matt Elenjickal said, "While we would rather compete based on the merits of our product, people and service, this almost two year legal saga confirms our resolve to stand up for the freight-tracking industry as a whole."
FourKites is re-shaping the logistics industry for real-time transparency and efficiency. FourKites provides comprehensive real-time tracking and supply chain visibility solutions across transportation modes and digital platforms. Using FourKites, the shipper, the broker, and the carrier can share the same, real-time truck location and shipment status information -- from more than 45 onboard GPS/ELD systems used by fleets to individual owner-operator smartphones and flip phones. Bypassing phone calls and EDI, FourKites saves time and money across the transportation spectrum. Best of all, nothing falls through the cracks. Learn how FourKites real-time load tracking can help your business by requesting a demo at www.fourkites.com, following via @FourKites, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.