AmeriTrak Fleet Solutions, LLC (AmeriTrak) is a Bloomington, Minnesota-based telematics company that produces in-vehicle mobile computing devices and related system software for complex, remote, real-time data collection and analysis. AmeriTrak’s systems allow for the collection, processing, storage, and useful display of all acquired information for vehicle types ranging from heavy tandem-axle trucks to passenger cars.
In 2014, AmeriTrak was sued in Colorado federal court by Concaten, Inc. Concaten alleged that AmeriTrak infringed five patents and asserted other allegations under the Lanham Act. To defend itself from the accusations, AmeriTrak reached out to Gray Plant Mooty’s Intellectual Property, Technology & Privacy lawyers.
In September 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado invalidated all five patents. The Court adopted the legal argument put forth by GPM attorneys Dean Eyler, Loren Hansen, and Richard Landon, and held that the patents were not patent-eligible because the claims were nothing more than abstract ideas, which offered no inventive concept. See Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Intern., --- U.S. ---, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014). After Concaten appealed the result, the ruling was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in October 2016. See Concaten, Inc. v. AmeriTrak Fleet Solutions, 131 F. Supp. 3d 1166 (D. Colo. 2015), aff’d, 669 Fed. Appx. 571 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 11, 2016) (Mem.), cert denied, --- S. Ct. ----, 2017 WL 1001313 (U.S. Apr. 17, 2017) (No. 16-1109).
The decision of the court is a significant victory for AmeriTrak and demonstrates how GPM lawyers can act strategically to protect their clients’ rights in complex intellectual property disputes. According to AmeriTrak’s co-founder, Bev Edelstein, “Gray Plant Mooty helped AmeriTrak when we needed it most. They have provided strategic advice and helpful guidance in this ‘bet the company’ patent litigation. We are grateful for their patent litigation and business expertise.”