Samsara Inc. has filed a lawsuit claiming that Motive Technologies Inc. has been illegally copying its intellectual property, from copying its connected-vehicle and dashcam technology to mimicking its branding messages — allegations that Motive denied.
On Jan. 24, Samsara filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to stop what it alleged is “ongoing intellectual property theft through patent infringement, false advertising, and other illegal conduct by Motive Technologies.”
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 allegations and associated campaign against Motive are meritless,” responded Motive In a statement from co-founder and CEO, Shoaib Makani. “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.”
Samsara Alleges ‘Covert’ Practices
Samsara’s lawsuit 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 contend that Makani was personally involved, along with other senior-level employees.
“Motive’s unlawful practices have been covert, systematic, and extensive,” Samsara said in a news release, and claims that its activity records show that Motive employees viewed Samsara’s Dashboard more than 20,600 times from 2018 to 2022.
Samsara also alleged that Motive commissioned at least two intentionally flawed and misleading benchmarking studies to “test” and “compare” Motive’s product against Samsara’s, and that Motive has used those reports to make false claims about Samsara products.
Last summer, Motive announced a study done by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute “highlighting significant performance gaps between Motive’s AI Dashcam and the models of the two of largest providers of commercial AI-enabled dashcams,” one of whom was Samsara.
According to a July 2023 news release, VTTI found Motive’s AI Dashcam successfully generated alerts related to six unsafe driving behaviors 3-4 times more than its competitors.
One of those was seat belt use, which Motive said its system had a 100% alert rate but Samsara had a 0% alert rate. But according to Samsara, “VTTI was informed after the study that the seatbelt alert for the Samsara device was not properly enabled.”
Samsara is not the first company to make allegations that Motive was copying its technology. Omnitracs last October filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Motive in the Northern District of California.
The suit claims that in 2015, Motive (then known as KeepTruckin) hired Dan Fuglewicz, a senior engineering director, from XRS, which Omnitracs later purchased. Omnitracs alleged that Motive started using XRS’ technology to develop new and improved products, such as Motive’s Fleet Dashboard, AI Dashcam, Smart Dashcam, AI Omnicam, Vehicle Gateway, Asset Gateway, Environmental Sensor, and Motive Driver App.
In a Dec. 6 legal filing, Motive Technologies denied the Omnitracs allegations and asked the court to dismiss the case. Motive said in its filing that, among other things, Omnitracs did not have facts showing Fuglewicz informed Motive of the XRS patents, “much less had knowledge of any alleged infringement of the XRS patents.”