On Tuesday in the Western District of Texas, plaintiff Ikorongo Texas LLC filed a complaint for patent infringement against Uber claiming that Uber infringed its patents for location-aware devices and applications.
The patents-in-suit are U.S. Patent Nos. RE 45,543 (the’ 543 patent) and RE 47,704 (the’ 704 patent). According to the complaint, Uber infringed at least claim 57 of the ’543 patent through its accused products and services, such as its applications, software, and services. For example, claim 57 of the ’543 patent protects “(a) method of operation of a server computer comprising: receiving registration information from a location-aware device; receiving information indicating visited geographic location data from the location-aware device, the visited geographic location data being data defining geographic locations collected at the location-aware device from a client-side application…”
Uber purportedly infringed this patented claim because, in order to hail a ride using the ride-sharing app, an individual must “use their location-aware devices running the Uber app to facilitate a ride request.” To accomplish this, the plaintiff stated that Uber’s app accesses a device’s location settings, enters and confirms his destination, confirms his pickup location and is then matched with a driver. The user can track their driver’s arrival on the map on the app, check the ride and begin their trip. Specifically, the user’s device collects the “geographic location data by using GPS data,” for example.
Uber’s app for drivers “is used by drivers on their own location-aware devices to receive and process on-demand ride requests from Uber riders.” Thus, this app also allegedly uses location information to operate. Consequently, the plaintiff proffered that Uber infringed its patent.
The allegations for the ’704 patent are similar to the ’543 patent claims; both patents-in-suit involve an application with registration and a location-aware device. As noted in the complaint, Uber uses this technology to allow users to request rides between their current location and their destination.
Uber is accused of direct, contributory, and induced infringement. The plaintiff has sought a declaratory judgment in its favor, an award for damages, an award for costs and fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, and other relief. Ikorongo Texas is represented by Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP, as well as Nix Patterson L.L.P. and Wisnia PC.