DoorDash Sued for Infringement of Mapping Population Activity Patents for Driver Selection

On Tuesday, Gridley IP LLC filed a complaint in the Northern District of Ohio against DoorDash Inc. for patent infringement, alleging that DoorDash infringed patents relating to mapping population activity. The defendant purportedly uses the patented technology in order to help perform its delivery service via features on its delivery app.

The patents-in-suit are U.S. Patent Nos. 8,676,668 (the ’668 patent) and 9,852,435 (the ’435 patent), entitled “Method For The determination Of A Time, Location, And Quality Of Goods To Be Made Available Based On Mapped Population Activity” and “Telemetrics Based On Location And Tracking,” respectively.

For example, claim 1 of the ’668 patent includes: “A method for mapping population activity, the method comprising: detecting wireless mobile devices within a geographic region at two or more different points in time; discerning a location, speed and direction of the wireless mobile devices within the geographic region to discern a particular location toward which the wireless mobile devices are moving; determining (based upon the aforementioned information) … a time at which goods or services are to be made available; a location at which the goods or services are to be made available; and a quantity of the goods or services to be made available.” Accordingly, the plaintiff asserted that this results in “increased immunity, efficiency and optimization from dealing with (a) large number of potential customers demand(ing) prompt service at a given time.”

The plaintiff averred that DoorDash commercializes the patented methods via the DoorDash app, which allegedly “enables a method for mapping population activity,” which is used when searching for Dashers, which are DoorDash’s delivery personnel. According to the claim chart, the app engages in this location tracking by detecting and tracking Dashers and then updating the Dasher’s location over time, which allows users to track the status of their delivery and the Dasher’s location. 

Additionally, the Dash Now feature shows hotspot areas for Dashers where there are many orders ready to be filled, which also purportedly uses the patented technologies. Moreover, by using speed, location, and direction the app can estimate the time a Dasher will reach a particular delivery location; this information can be shown to the customer. 

The plaintiff seeks for DoorDash to be adjudged to have infringed the patents-in-suit, an accounting of all infringing sales and damages, to permanently restrain and enjoin DoorDash from further and future infringement, an award for damages, and other costs. 

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