Recently, a patent infringement lawsuit was brought against Uber Technologies, Inc. (“Uber”) by a competing ride-sharing company named Hailo Technologies, LLC d/b/a Bring (“Plaintiff”). The Plaintiff describes itself as a company that develops software intended to service ride-hailing customers interested in bringing their biking equipment when traveling. The Plaintiff alleges that it owns a patent registration for a computer based method/system of calling and dispatching drivers, which enables a user to select a particular Taxi or vehicular transport company from a menu, along with the desired destination and number of passengers traveling. The Plaintiff’s patent was issued as U.S. Patent No. 5,973,619 in October 1999.
The Plaintiff alleges that Uber’s mobile application infringes upon its patented invention. Infringement is determined by looking at the claims of the patent and performing a direct comparison between each element and the accused device. Thus, a comparison will need to be made between elements stated in the claims of the Plaintiff’s patent and elements of Uber’s mobile application. Often, the court must step in and settle disputes over the definition of claim terms prior to the claim being compared to the accused device. Usually this is done in what is called a Markham hearing in which both parties submit their proposed interpretation of the scope of the claim or claims in the subject patent. The court will then rule on how several terms in the subject patent are defined. Next, the jury or the court will determine whether infringement has occurred.
This case is currently in its early stages and we will be monitoring the status of this case. Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding the information in this article.
Daniel Devine, Esq.
Santucci Priore, P.L.