Lyft Moves for Rejection of Magistrate’s Report in Car Identifier

On Monday, rideshare company Lyft, the defendant in an ongoing patent case between themselves and RideShare Displays Inc. (RSDI), filed an objection in the District of Delaware to a Report and Recommendation submitted by Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Hall. The report stems from a lawsuit brought against Lyft for their alleged violation of a patent involving systems and methods for vehicle identification. Lyft received the report in response to their motion to dismiss.

The report rejected Lyft’s arguments the technology at issue was not patent-eligible. The court concluded that “As a matter of law, it could not conclude that the patent’s claims lack an inventive concept, citing, at minimum, the existence of a factual dispute.” Lyft may still raise the same patent eligibility question at the summary judgment phase.”

The specific technology in question is used to “allow the rider to identify the vehicle by matching the visual indicator on the rider’s phone to that on the display of the vehicle”. The defendant argued that contrary to the report, the 45 claims against it all involve the abstract idea of vehicle identification using visual indicators. Lyft argues that the elements cited “are not legally distinctive and therefore do not rebut Lyft’s representativeness showing.”

Lyft also argued that the practice of identifying a particular vehicle using visual indicators has been done to identify drivers since the inception of the automobile. Examples from the objection include the implementations of signs with names as a way of helping the rider identify the driver at, say, an airport terminal or something similar.

Lastly, the defendant believes that contrary to the report findings, the technology within the patent lacks an inventive step. Lyft implored the court to consider whether the claims are meant to make “an improvement in the functioning of a computer,” or merely “adding conventional computer components to well-known business practices.”

Based on these assertions by the defendant, they request that the court decline to adopt the objected-to portions of the R&R and grant Lyft’s motion to dismiss.  

The plaintiff is represented by Seitz, Van Ogtrop & Green. The defendant is represented by Ashby & Geddes and Baker Botts.