Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Transport Technologies, LLC v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 22, 2016

TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY, Defendant.

          ORDER RE: DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS [50]; DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO STAY [52]; AND DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED ANSWER [61]

          HONORABLE RONALD S.W. LEW Senior U.S. District Judge

         Currently before the Court are three Motions by Defendant Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (“Defendant”): (1) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) [50] (“Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings”); (2) Motion to Stay [52] the case pending the outcome of an inter partes review (“IPR”) proceeding that Defendant filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”), challenging all asserted claims of the patent-in-suit (“Motion to Stay”); and (3) Motion for Leave to File Amended Answer [61] (“Motion to File Amended Answer”).

         Having reviewed all papers submitted pertaining to these Motions, the Court NOW FINDS AND RULES AS FOLLOWS:

(1) The Court DENIES the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [50] WITHOUT PREJUDICE;
(2) The Court GRANTS the Motion to Stay [52], and STAYS the proceedings pending the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (“PTAB”) determination in IPR; and
(3) The Court VACATES WITHOUT PREJUDICE the Motion to File Amended Answer [61]. Defendant may renew its Motion to File Amended Answer if necessary.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Background

         Plaintiff Transport Technologies, LLC (“Plaintiff”) is a California limited liability company which owns the ‘101 Patent, entitled “Motor Vehicle Occupancy Signaling System.” Compl. ¶¶ 5-6, ECF No. 1. The ‘101 Patent’s abstract describes the invention as follows:

A system that allows a claim by a registrant as to the number of occupants traveling in a vehicle over a section of highway with a high occupancy vehicle incentive program in place to be transmitted. The registrant is identified by a registrant identifier. The claim about occupancy is optionally visually displayed as the vehicle traverses the highway. The identification of the registrant making the claim is captured by a plurality of reading devices along the highway and transferred to a central processing system. That system determines if a qualified ride-sharing event has occurred, and if so it will then provide for distribution of the program incentives to the registered individual(s).

Id. at Abstract.

         Defendant is the public transportation agency for the County of Los Angeles. Id. at ¶ 2. Defendant operates high occupancy/toll lanes on the I-110 and I-10 freeways known as “ExpressLanes.” Id. at ¶ 7. Drivers wishing to use the ExpressLanes are required to carry a “FasTrak” transponder in their cars. Id. The FasTrak transponder includes a switch that may be set to indicate that a car contains 1, 2, or 3 or more passengers. Id. At various points on the ExpressLanes, Defendant controls and operates a series of wireless readers and communications infrastructure that communicates with FasTrak transponders to receive claims about car occupancy, and transfers that information to Defendant’s data processing facilities. Id. at ¶ 8. Defendant uses the information it receives to charge drivers for their use of the ExpressLanes. Id.

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant’s operation of the ExpressLanes infringes claims 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 10 of the ‘101 Patent. Id. at ¶ 11.

         In the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, Defendant argues that the claims at issue are directed to patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

         Method claim 6 of the ‘101 Patent recites:

A method of receiving claimed vehicle occupancy data about a vehicle by a registrant, and also identifying the registrant as the vehicle traverses a designated section of highway, said method comprising the steps of:
transmitting the number of occupants in a vehicle claimed by a registrant; transmitting a signal from the vehicle that identifies the registrant; and then receiving the claim by a registrant as to number of occupants in a vehicle and reading the signal from the vehicle that identifies the registrant as the vehicle transits the designated section of highway.

         Method claim 8 of the ‘101 Patent recites:

The method of claim 6 further comprising the transmission of number of occupants claimed by a registrant by a transponder that transmits a signal both identifying the registrant and the number of occupants claimed by that registrant.

         Method claim 10 of the ‘101 Patent recites:

The method of claim 8 further comprising a visual display of the claimed number of occupants, which display can be seen by an enforcement officer outside the vehicle as it traverses the highway.

         Defendant characterizes the method claims 6, 8, and 10 as representative of the system claims 1, 3, and 5 because the claims “contain only minor differences in terminology but require performance of the same basic process.” Mot. J. Pleadings 19:18-21, ECF No. 50 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

         System claim 1 of the ‘101 Patent recites:

A vehicle occupancy monitoring system wherein a claim is made by a registrant about the number of occupants in a vehicle as it traverses a designated section of highway:
a transmitter that transmits a claim as to the number of occupants in the vehicle;
a sending transponder in the vehicle that transmits a code that uniquely identifies the registrant with the program administrator;
a reading data collector that can interrogate a vehicle within its range, and receive, store and transfer to a central processing facility said transmitted code identifying ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.