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Concaten, Inc. v. AmeriTrak Fleet Solutions, LLC

United States District Court, D. Colorado

September 23, 2015

CONCATEN, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
AMERITRAK FLEET SOLUTIONS, LLC d/b/a Ameritrak, Defendant

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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          For Concaten, Inc., Plaintiff: Carl Alfred Hjort, III, LEAD ATTORNEY, SpaceCo Business Solutions, Inc., Aurora, CO; Laura Lee Blake, LEAD ATTORNEY, Mobile Barriers LLC, Golden, CO; David Anthony Palladino, Jr., David Anthony Palladino, Attorney at Law, Golden, CO.

         For AmeriTrak Fleet Solutions, LLC, doing business as Ameritrak, Defendants: Dean C. Eyler, LEAD ATTORNEY, Loren Lee Hansen, Gray, Plant, Mooty, Motty & Bennett, PA-Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN.

         For AmeriTrak Fleet Solutions, LLC, Counter Claimant: Loren Lee Hansen, Gray, Plant, Mooty, Motty & Bennett, PA-Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN.

         For Concaten, Inc., Counter Defendant: David Anthony Palladino, Attorney at Law, Golden, CO.

Page 1169

         ORDER

         PHILIP A. BRIMMER, United States District Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on the motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c) [Docket No. 32] filed by defendant AmeriTrak Fleet Solutions, LLC (" AmeriTrak" ). The basis of AmeriTrak's motion is that the patents-in-suit, which involve relaying weather and road data to and from snow plows, are drawn to ineligible subject matter. See Docket No. 32. The Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

         I. BACKGROUND[1]

         Plaintiff Concaten, Inc. (" Concaten" ) owns all right, title, and interest to U.S. Patent Nos. 7,355,509 (the " '509 Patent" ), 7,714,705 (the " '705 Patent" ), 8,120,473 (the " '473 Patent" ), 8,284,037 (the " '037 Patent" ), and 8,497,769 (the " 769 Patent" ) (collectively, the " patents-in-suit" and, excluding the '509 Patent, the " continuation patents" ). Docket No. 7 at 1-2, ¶ 1. Generally, the patents-in-suit describe a " maintenance decision support system" (" MDSS" ), which Concaten describes as a " computer-based system that . . . provides State transportation departments' winter maintenance personnel with specific weather forecast information and treatment recommendations." Docket No. 7 at 5-6, ¶ 11. The MDSS incorporates various technological components, including automated vehicle location (also known as global positioning satellite, or " GPS" ), and mobile data collection. Id. The patents-in-suit, according to Concaten, " allow transportation departments' managers, vehicle . . . operators and other personnel to monitor current/real-time data from vehicles in the field." Id. at 6, ¶ 12. Concaten alleges that AmeriTrak infringes one or more claims of the patents-in-suit by making, using, offering, providing, offering to sell, and/or selling " an array of MDSS related products and/or services . . . to its customers that embody the patented systems and/or substantially rely upon the information and data collected and transmitted via the patented systems." Id. at 6-7, ¶ 13.[2]

         The '509 Patent, which is the parent application of the other patents-in-suit, is titled " Smart Modem Device for Vehicular and Roadside Applications." Docket No. 7-1 at 1. Claim 1 of the '509 Patent[3] reads:

1. A data collection and transmission system, comprising:

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at least one of a sensor and user interface operable to collect information regarding vehicle state and/or vehicle occupants;
at least one slot operable to receive a selected network card, the at least one slot being configured to receive cards of multiple private and/or public networks;
a plurality of sets of connection managers and monitors corresponding to different types and/or origins of network cards, each set comprising at least one connection manager to interact with the corresponding network card in establishing a connection with the corresponding wireless network and connection monitor to monitor a state of the connection and at least one of the connection manager and monitor of a first set being different than a corresponding at least one of the connection manager and monitor of a second set; and
a system manager operable to determine a type and/or origin of network card and select and cause execution of the corresponding connection manager and monitor set to set up a connection with the network corresponding to the determined type and/or origin of network card.

Id. at 23.

         The '705 Patent is titled " Maintenance Decision Support System and Method." Docket No. 7-2 at 1. Claim 1 of the '705 Patent reads:

1. A method, comprising:
(a) receiving over a wireless cellular network, from a plurality of snow maintenance vehicles and by a server, a plurality of sets of collected information, each of the collected sets of information comprising a snow maintenance vehicle physical location and at least one of weather and road conditions in an area of the respective snow maintenance vehicle;
(b) processing, by the server, the received collected information to (i) provide a map associated with a physical location of a selected snow maintenance vehicle and (ii) determine an instruction for an ...

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