February 17, 2024

Motive countersues fleet tech rival Samsara over patent infringement


Fleet telematics provider Motive Technologies is firing back at rival Samsara Inc., filing a lawsuit alleging Samsara copied and used its proprietary technology and patents, including AI dashcam technology.

Motive’s lawsuit, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, “alleges that for years, Samsara has engaged in unlawful, anticompetitive business practices to copy Motive’s products and technology and to steal its intellectual property.”

“Our action against Samsara stems from their unlawful and anticompetitive business practices, including patent infringement, fraud, false advertising, and theft of Motive’s trade secrets, among other things,” Motive co-founder and CEO Shoaib Makani said in a statement to FreightWaves. “Motive has spent years developing AI to prevent accidents and make our roads safer. Samsara hasn’t been able to build competitive AI solutions and is losing large enterprise customers to Motive as a result. Instead of building a better product, Samsara has resorted to IP theft and anticompetitive practices in an attempt to close the gap.”

The suit also accuses Samsara employees of creating more than 30 fake Motive accounts on its platform, according to the website truthandsafety.com, which was set up by Motive to dispute Samsara’s legal claims.

In a statement, Samsara disputes the allegations lodged by Motive in its complaint.

“Rather than stopping its unlawful conduct, Motive has decided to copy our claims,” Adam Simons, a Samsara spokesperson, said in a statement to FreightWaves. “As demonstrated in our complaint, this is the same copycat tactic Motive uses for its product development. The allegations in Motive’s suit are a deliberate distraction, and we have every confidence in our defense. We remain focused on putting an end to Motive’s ongoing infringement and unlawful conduct to ensure fair competition, innovation, and safety for the entire industry.”

The move comes nearly three weeks after Samsara filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against Motive, formerly KeepTruckin, alleging Motive copied and used its proprietary technology, engaged in false and misleading advertising, and created fictitious accounts to gain access to Samsara’s connected vehicle platforms.

Both technology companies, headquartered in San Francisco, offer telematics products, including ELDs and dashcams for the transportation and logistics industry.

In a statement about the original lawsuit, Motive called the legal actions taken by Samsara “meritless and anticompetitive.”

Samsara files second complaint against Motive

Samsara filed a second complaint against Motive on Feb. 9 with the U.S. International Trade Commission regarding some of Motive’s products. According to a Samsara spokesperson, the suit “seeks an exclusion order to prevent Motive’s Vehicle Gateway and Dashcam products from being imported into the United States and a cease and desist order to prohibit Motive from selling, marketing, advertising, or distributing its Vehicle Gateway and Dashcams on the grounds that these products infringe certain of Samsara’s patents.”

Motive is embroiled in a legal fight against another safety and fleet technology provider, Omnitracs, which filed suit against the telematics provider in October. The lawsuit centers on 11 patents that Omnitracs says Motive copied from Omnitracs.

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