Government Issues

CUTA sues to end frivolous patent claims

Posted on August 21, 2013

The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) filed suit against foreign owned Dovden Investments Inc. (Dovden). The claim asserts that Dovden's Canadian patents are invalid, void and of no effect as they do not meet the requirements prescribed under the Patent Act.

CUTA seeks to end Dovden's practice of bringing unfounded, unsustainable patent infringement actions against its members, including numerous publicly funded transit systems, agencies and their suppliers.

Increasingly, Dovden has issued letters to extract payment for licenses that businesses do not use, want or need. If companies do not agree to Dovden's terms, Dovden commences a patent infringement action in the Federal Court. Since 2006, Dovden has commenced 42 such actions, with 32 commenced in the past year.

Dovden has pursued none of these to a conclusion in the courts, let alone to trial. In some cases, businesses have paid the arbitrary license fee demanded by Dovden to avoid trial costs.

"Dovden's threat is costly litigation" said CUTA President/CEO Michael Roschlau. "Most publicly funded transit agencies could not sustain such legal costs in addition to efficiently serving transit users on a daily basis. At the same time, responsible public authorities cannot ignore a patent infringement law suit or the opportunity to settle such a suit."

Dovden's patents have managed to go unchallenged… until now. "In representing our members through this action" added Roschlau. "CUTA hopes to scrutinize Dovden's patents and practices in Court and show that Dovden's patents are invalid."

Earlier this year, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) filed a similar lawsuit against ArrivalStar, a foreign investment corporation with ties to Dovden Investments. On Wednesday, APTA President/CEO announced that lawsuit had been resolved.

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