In the latest in fleet legal updates, Samara has announced a lawsuit against Motive Technologies. - Photo: Work Truck

In the latest in fleet legal updates, Samara has announced a lawsuit against Motive Technologies. 

Photo: Work Truck

Samsara Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Motive Technologies, Inc. in federal court alleging patent infringement, false advertising, and other illegal conduct. Samsara claims that Motive has been stealing its technologies and fraudulently accessing its platforms.

Motive has responded to the allegations, stating that Samsara's claims are meritless and an attempt to limit competition. In response, Motive has filed its lawsuit, claiming patent infringement, theft of intellectual property, fraud, and intentional interference with prospective economic relations.

Samsara Files Suit 

Samsara Inc., has filed a lawsuit in federal court in late January 2024 seeking to stop ongoing intellectual property theft through patent infringement, false advertising, and other illegal conduct by Motive Technologies, Inc.

The lawsuit in Delaware federal court alleges that Motive, a dashcam and GPS provider previously known as KeepTruckin, based much of its product line and even its business strategy on routinely stealing Samsara’s technologies and fraudulently accessing Samsara’s platforms. Samsara’s filing asserts that Motive illegally accessed Samsara’s platform, copied Samsara’s marketing materials, and made unsubstantiated advertising statements.

Samsara’s Complaint alleges that Motive stole core Samsara technologies, infringing three of Samsara’s patents that protect Samsara’s flagship IoT devices, data platform, and features. The allegations highlight that Motive’s CEO Shoaib Makani was personally involved in Motive’s conduct, along with other senior-level employees down to members of the Sales and Customer Support teams. Motive’s unlawful practices have been covert, systematic, and extensive. Activity records show that Motive employees surreptitiously viewed Samsara’s Dashboard more than 20,600 times from 2018 to 2022.

On top of the theft and copying, Samsara alleges Motive commissioned at least two intentionally flawed and misleading benchmarking studies to “test” and “compare” Motive’s product against Samsara’s. Motive has also relied on those reports to make false claims about Samsara products.

Samsara pursued legal action after more than a year of urging Motive's leadership and Board of Directors to cease their unlawful activities. Activity logs show that Motive’s Director of Product continued to attempt to access Samsara’s platform even after Motive claimed to have asked its employees to stop. Motive continued to introduce products mimicking Samsara’s innovations as recently as November 2023.

Samsara is asking the court to enter judgment recognizing Motive’s infringement of Samsara’s patents covering several of the company’s innovative solutions in fleet management and driver safety, included within Samsara’s Telematics, Video-Based Safety, and Sustainability solutions, permanently stopping Motive’s illegal conduct, and ordering Motive to compensate Samsara for its losses and damages under state and federal law.

Motive Responds to Samsara Lawsuit

Work Truck contacted Motive and recieved the following statement in response to the allegations: 

"Samsara’s allegations and associated campaign against Motive are meritless. They are a result of Samsara’s inability to develop competitive AI technology and the fact that they are losing customers, especially large Enterprise accounts, to Motive. This courtroom tactic is an attempt to limit competition and we will fight these baseless accusations to the fullest extent," said Motive co-founder and CEO, Shoaib Makani.

Work Truck will continue to follow the proceedings and update our readers as we learn more. Subscribe to our eNewsletter for the latest fleet news and updates. 

Motive Files Lawsuit in Response

On February 15, 2024, Motive Technologies filed a lawsuit against Samsara "to protect innovation and fair competition for the benefit and safety of customers."

According to a release from Motive, " Samsara has engaged in unlawful, anticompetitive business practices to copy Motive’s products and technology and to steal its intellectual property. Despite its efforts, Samsara has failed to develop competitive AI technology and has been losing customers, particularly large Enterprise accounts, to Motive. Rather than develop better products, Samsara has resorted to waging a meritless legal battle and associated marketing campaign against Motive in an underhanded attempt to limit competition and stifle innovation."

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. 

According to Motive, its claims against Samsara include patent infringement, theft of intellectual property and trade secrets, fraud, false and deceptive advertising, defamation, and intentional interference with prospective economic relations. 

Additionally, Motive states that: 

  • Motive pioneered the first iPhone- and Android-based fleet management and electronic logging platform in 2013 and manufactured its first Vehicle Gateway (LBB-1) in August 2015. Samsara was founded in July 2015 and released its copycat Vehicle Gateway (VG32) in April of the following year.
  • Motive certified its Electronic Logging Device (ELD) with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in July 2016, a full year before Samsara certified its own ELD with the FMCSA, with a Driver App that was a copy of Motive’s. 
  • In 2019, Motive spent considerable time and resources developing its AI Dashcam with an Ambarella chip in collaboration with QSMC, a leading electronics manufacturer. Starting in late 2019, Samsara poached Motive’s Vice President of Hardware Engineering and other engineering leaders to steal trade secrets and IP related to Motive’s AI Dashcam. Samsara is in the process of launching its next-generation AI Dash Cam, manufactured by QSMC, using an Ambarella chip — directly copying Motive’s hardware design and supplier relationship.

Work Truck will continue to follow the news as it unfolds. To make sure you get the latest legal updates and more, subscribe to Work Truck's newsletters today

Editor's note: this article was originally published on January 24, 2024 and has been updated with additional information regarding the lawsuits. 

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