January 31, 2011

Dataflow Systems, Inc. Sues Arrival Star S.A. and Melvino Technologies Limited, Seeking Declaratory Judgment on Vehicle Tracking Patents

Indianapolis, IN - Patent lawyers for Dataflow Systems, Inc. of Indianapolis, IN, filed a declaratory judgment suit seeking a ruling that the company has not violated certain patents held by Defendants Arrival Star S.A. or Melvino Technologies Limited.

The lawsuit concerns several patents, issued by the U.S. Patent Office, which cover "vehicle tracking and status messaging systems," typically used in the shipping industry.

The complaint alleges that, early in 2011, the Defendants sent a letter to the Plaintiff asserting patent infringement and proposing a "highly favorable" license. The letter gave a two-week period for reply and threatened that the Defendants would "proceed accordingly here in the court system" if the deadline was not met. The day before the deadline, Plaintiff's counsel responded, saying their analysis was not complete and promising a substantial reply early the next month, February. Defendants' counsel then insisted on a reasonable settlement offer by February 1st or else litigation would be brought in the U.S. and Canada. Plaintiffs soon filed for declaratory relief and allege that none of their products include all the limitations of any of the asserted patents' claims. They further allege that the Defendants, in bad faith, did not perform a pre-suit investigation into infringement.

The patents at issue are: Patent No. 6,486,801, BASE STATION APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR MONITORING TRAVEL OF A MOBILE VEHICLE; Patent No. 6,714,859, SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR AN ADVANCE NOTIFICATION SYSTEM FOR MONITORING AND REPORTING PROXIMITY OF A VEHICLE; Patent No. 6,317,060, BASE STATION SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MONITORING TRAVEL OF MOBILE VEHICLES AND COMMUNICATING NOTIFICATION MESSAGES; Patent No. 6,748,320, ADVANCE NOTIFICATION SYSTEMS AND METHODS UTILIZING A COMPUTER NETWORK; Patent No. 6,952,645, SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR ACTIVATION OF AN ADVANCE NOTIFICATION SYSTEM FOR MONITORING AND REPORTING STATUS OF VEHICLE TRAVEL; Patent No. 7,030,781, NOTIFICATION SYSTEM AND METHOD THAT INFORMS A PARTY OF VEHICLE DELAY; and Patent No. 7,400,970, SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR AN ADVANCE NOTIFICATION SYSTEM FOR MONITORING AND REPORTING PROXIMITY OF A VEHICLE.

This case has been assigned to Judge Sarah Evans Barker and Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker in the Southern District of Indiana, and assigned case no. 1:11-cv-00150-SEB-TAB.

Practice Tip: A declaratory judgment is typically requested when a party is threatened with a lawsuit. Because there has to be an actual dispute for a court to have jurisdiction, and not just preliminary speculation that the parties may reach that point, it can be challenging for an alleged infringer to convince a court to hear a declaratory judgment case. Generally, if presented with a controversy of sufficient immediacy and reality, the court will proceed with the case. The benefit then is that the alleged infringer has selected the forum for the litigation.

The complaint here indicated that Defendants have asserted one or more of these patents in over twenty-five separate lawsuits since 2001. Indeed, other Arrival Star S.A. patent infringement cases include the following:

· Arrival Star S.A. et al v. Atomicbox, Inc., filed April 20, 2006 as 5:2006cv00964 in the Northern District of Ohio

· Arrival Star S.A. et al v. SSA Global Technologies, Inc., filed April 18, 2006 as 1:2006cv02164 in the Northern District of Illinois

· ARRIVAL STAR S. A. et al v. PITT-OHIO EXPRESS, LLC, filed March 30, 2006 as 2:2006cv00413 in the Western District of Pennsylvania

· Arrival Star S.A. et al v. Globe Express Services, Ltd., filed February 22, 2006 as 3:2006cv00077 in the Western District of North Carolina

· ARRIVAL STAR (JERSEY) LIMITED v. UNITED SHIPPERS CORPORATION OF NEW YORK, INC., filed January 6, 2006 as 2:2006cv00056 in the District of New Jersey

· Arrival Star (Jersey) Limited v. TradeBeam, Inc. et al., filed January 6, 2006 as 1:2006cv00082 in the Northern District of Illinois

· Arrival Star, Inc. v. Pilot Air Freight Corp., filed January 5, 2006 as 1:2006cv00051 in the Northern District of Illinois

· Arrival Star, Inc. v. PBB Global Logistics, Inc., filed August 18, 2005 as 1:2005cv04766 in the Northern District of Illinois

· Arrival Star, Inc. v. Cosco Container Lines Americas, Inc., filed August 12, 2005 as 1:2005cv00933 in the Eastern District of Virginia

· Arrival Star, Inc. v. Maersk Logistics USA, et al. filed April 14, 2005 as 1:2005cv21046 in the Southern District of Florida

· Arrival Star, Inc. v. Nistevo Corporation, filed February 12, 2004 as 0:2004cv00907 in the District of Minnesota

· Arrival Star, Inc. v. Descartes Systems Group, Inc. et al., filed January 9, 2004 as 1:2004cv00182 in the Southern District of New York

Complaint - Dataflow Systems v. Arrival Star S.A.