ASICS Sued for Patent Infringement for Routing System in Fitness App

Plaintiff Boxey Tech LLC sued sports equipment company ASICS America Corporation (ASICS) for patent infringement on Friday in the Southern District of Ohio over its fitness tracking app Runkeeper. The plaintiff alleged the app’s utilization of a system and method that used geographic locations to create different paths for users to select for their run violated Boxey Tech’s “Computing Paths Between Geographic Localities” patents.

The patents-in-suit are U.S. Patent Nos. 8,560,238 (the ‘238 Patent) and 8,731,833 (the ‘833 Patent). The defendant claimed that ASICS knowingly and willfully directly infringed these patents and it also induced infringement.

The ’238 patent “recites a non-abstract method…for computing paths between geographical localities.” Boxey Tech claimed that this technology resolves the problem of directions if there are no street names. Claim 13 covers “[a] computer readable storage medium” enabling the provision of a path between two locations, with the path determined “at least in part” on a popularity rating.

Claim 1 of the ’833 patent described a similar method to claim 13 of the ’238 patent. However, claims 7, 16, and 20 of the ’833 patent build on the first claim. For example, claim 7 causes “the selected path to be rendered,” claim 16 details a computing system for these geographical localities, and claim 20 described a component that renders the path from claim 16’s computing system.

Boxey Tech alleged that ASICS utilized the method and steps described in the patent. ASICS operates the site, which provides “geographic location services for running and other fitness activities.” The plaintiff asserted that ASICS used the method encompassed in the patents and claims for Runkeeper. For example, Runkeeper allegedly uses the computer storage and processes described in the claims. ASICS’s Runkeeper purportedly infringes claim 13 of the ’238 patent by having users input a location and select a path generated by the system to get from the “first geographical locality” to the “second geographical locality.” A user can input a city and Runkeeper will provide them with popular paths from their location based on certain criteria. Users can also input a start and end location in Runkeeper, which will provide different path options for a user to select; the path options could include a direct path or a popular path for the user to choose from. As described in the patent, these different path options will include third and fourth geographical localities, respectively. Consequently, Boxey Tech has used this to further assert that ASICS infringed this claim. The examples and reasoning for ASICS’s infringement of the ’833 patent claims are similar.

Boxey Tech has sought for ASICS to be adjudged as having infringed the patents-in-suit. The plaintiff also sought an accounting of all infringing sales and damages; to permanently restrain and enjoin defendants from further infringement, an award for damages; pre- and post-judgment interest, an award for costs and fees; and other relief as determined by the court.

The plaintiff is represented by Sand, Sebolt & Wernow Co., LPA.