Latest in Gear

Image credit: ANGELA WEISS via Getty Images

Retired professor sues Lyft for patent infringement

He claims the core of the company’s model mirrors a patent he filed in 2001.
237 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

ANGELA WEISS via Getty Images

A retired Georgia Institute of Technology professor has sued Lyft for patent infringement, Reuters reports. The professor, Stephen Dickerson, filed his complaint with the New York Southern District Court on Monday through his company RideApp, and it claims that Lyft's business model infringes on Dickerson's ride-sharing patent, which he filed for in 2001. The patent was granted in 2004 and the rights were held by Georgia Tech until Dickerson reacquired them earlier this year. "Professor Dickerson was a transportation visionary," his attorney, Marc Kasowitz, said in a statement. "Lyft's infringement is entirely unwarranted and unlawful."

"[Dickerson's] system integrated cell phones, the Global Positioning System and automatic billing technology to allow a passenger who needed a ride to be connected to a driver with an empty seat who was going to the same destination," notes the lawsuit. "The system he envisioned would identify the passenger to the driver and vice versa, estimate connection and arrival times and automatically bill the passenger in a safe and secure manner that required no cash to change hands."

It goes on to state that more than decade after Dickerson began working on this system, Lyft was launched, and it instituted a model that was indistinguishable from what Dickerson laid out in his patent. "More than ten years after Professor Dickerson filed his patent application, Lyft was formed," it says. "The core of its business model is the transportation system of Prof. Dickerson's invention; without that system, Lyft literally cannot operate." RideApp is seeking an injunction on Lyft as well as compensatory damages. Reuters notes that while no other suits have been filed against Lyft competitors (like market leader Uber), Dickerson's lawyer says he "plans to enforce his rights and fully develop his invention."

A spokesperson for Lyft declined to comment on the lawsuit.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
237 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Apple tests UWB switch to keep the iPhone 11 from tracking your location

Apple tests UWB switch to keep the iPhone 11 from tracking your location

View
Walmart's weekend sale includes a $150 Xbox One S All-Digital Edition

Walmart's weekend sale includes a $150 Xbox One S All-Digital Edition

View
First-person shooter 'Kingpin: Life of Crime' is getting a remaster

First-person shooter 'Kingpin: Life of Crime' is getting a remaster

View
Watch SpaceX's Crew Dragon in-flight abort test at 8 AM ET on Sunday

Watch SpaceX's Crew Dragon in-flight abort test at 8 AM ET on Sunday

View
Valve is definitely not working on 'Left 4 Dead 3'

Valve is definitely not working on 'Left 4 Dead 3'

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr