PALO ALTO, October, 31 2019 – On October 30, 2019, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California entered judgment finding all claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,697,730 (the ’730 Patent) asserted against Lyft, Inc. invalid. This judgment confirms Judge Jon S. Tigar’s October 16, 2019 Order finding elements in each of the asserted claims indefinite for failing to disclose algorithms for the claimed functions.
“Judge Tigar’s decision confirmed the position Lyft held from the beginning of this case,” said Baker Botts’ partner Jeremy Taylor. “This Order ends a litigation that should never have been brought in the first place and correctly recognizes that RideApp’s patent is invalid.”
On July 23, 2018, RideApp, Inc., filed a lawsuit against Lyft in the Southern District of New York July 23, 2018, alleging that Lyft’s ridesharing services infringed the ’730 Patent. RideApp broadly claimed the ’730 Patent covered automated transit systems using wireless hand-held devices to hail vehicles, seeking damages and a permanent injunction prohibiting Lyft from operating its ridesharing services. In response, Lyft confirmed it did not infringe RideApp’s Patent and that the Patent was invalid as indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112, among other reasons.
In November 2018, Judge Lorna G. Schofield of the Southern District of New York granted Lyft’s motion to transfer the case to the Northern District of California finding the allegations in RideApp’s complaint lacked a bona fide connection to the forum and that it would be far more convenient for the parties and potential witnesses if the case was transferred to the Northern District of California.
Following the transfer, Lyft filed a petition for Inter Partes Review (IPR) challenging the validity of the ’730 Patent based on obviousness and anticipation. Although the Patent and Trademark Appeals Board (PTAB) ultimately denied Lyft’s petition for IPR in August 2019, as a result of Lyft’s petition, the PTAB expressly found the ’730 Patent lacked adequate structure for performing the claimed functions. The PTAB was unable to rule on the issue of indefiniteness because IPR proceedings are statutorily restricted to obviousness and anticipation challenges.
On October 16, 2019, following an oral hearing the previous day, Judge Tigar issued a 20-page opinion finding multiple elements in each asserted claim of the ’730 Patent indefinite for failing to disclose algorithms for the claimed functions. The Court found in Lyft’s favor on each of the issues decided, adopting in several instances the PTAB’s reasoning and findings from the IPR, and dismissed the case with prejudice.
The case is RideApp, Inc. v. Lyft, Inc., Civil Action No. 4:18-cv-07152 in the Northern District of California.
Lyft is represented by in-house counsel Sara Giardina and by Baker Botts’ Partners Jeremy Taylor, Eliot Williams, B.C. Boren, and Jennifer Tempesta; Senior Associates Betsy Boggs and John Gaustad; and Associates Keith Jurek, Paul Weinand, and Tina Ngo.
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