Uber Technologies, Inc. (“UBER”) was founded in San Francisco, CA in 2008. UBER creators, Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp came up with the idea on a snowy evening in Paris in 2008. The two had trouble hailing a cap and came up with the simple idea of tapping a button on their phone in order to get a ride. Camp, the founder of StumbleUpon, an intelligent browsing tool for discovering and sharing websites, sold StumbleUpon to Ebay a few months after that incident and Camp and Kalanick then had the excitement and capital to tackle the taxi problem in San Francisco. By March 2009, Camp had developed the prototype of the app called UberCab.

Mobile phone application developer X One Inc. sued ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. in California federal court on Wednesday, alleging that its mobile phone application infringes location-detecting technology described in two of its patents.

X One alleges that Uber has knowingly used technology described in its patents to program its popular ride-hailing application to connect drivers temporarily with nearby riders. The allegedly infringed technology also allows those riders to track the drivers’ location, the suit said. X One filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in April 2005 naming X One head Richard Haney as the sole inventor. The USPTO has since issued more than 10 patents to X One relating to the use of position information in mobile phones, including the two patents — U.S. Patent Numbers 8,798,647 and 8,798,593.

Both patents-in-suit describe technology that allows users to temporarily share position data from their GPS-enabled wireless devices with other “use-specific groups.” The technology also plots the users’ position data in real time on an updateable map that expires, allowing them to “change things on the fly”. The technology allegedly improves the method of sharing location information between devices without overtaxing system resources, violating individual privacy rights or requiring voice communication, according the the suit. It does that by limiting the timing of location data exchange, as well as the number of users who receive a particular user’s location data, the suit said.

Keywords: Uber, Patent, Patent infringement, mobile application, Ubercab, Technology