Court Rules in Favor of SemaConnect in EV Charging Patent Case

SemaConnect HQ Bowie

ChargePoint Patent Claims Ruled Invalid – Judge Dismisses Complaint

Judge Marvin J. Garbis, of the U. S. District Court in Baltimore dismissed a lawsuit brought by ChargePoint, Inc. of Campbell, CA against SemaConnect, Inc. of Bowie, MD.

ChargePoint had alleged infringement of four patents held by the company in the area of networked electric vehicle charging in a lawsuit filed in Baltimore on December 15, 2017.

SemaConnect defended themselves against the suit by filing a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim arguing that the patents asserted by ChargePoint were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 as established by the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International in which patents were ruled as invalid because the claims were drawn to an abstract idea, and the method of implementing those claims was not enough to transform the abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.

SemaConnect & ChargePoint Competed for Electrify America Contract

In the Factual Background section of the order, Judge Garbis pointed out that both ChargePoint and SemaConnect were considered by Electrify America for a contract to install EV charging stations to be financed under the $2 billion ZEV Investment Plan mandated by a settlement with Volkswagon.

Electrify America considered bids for contracts to manufacture and install EV charging stations during Phase I of Electrify America’s infrastructure plan. Electrify America narrowed the list of bidders to four companies, including SemaConnect, ChargePoint, and two others. Ultimately, Electrify America awarded contracts to SemaConnect and two other companies but not ChargePoint.

The Judge granted SemaConnect’s motion to dismiss the complaint on Friday, March 23, 2018. The Judge found all of the patent claims made by ChargePoint were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Memorandum and Order: Motion to Dismiss (PDF).

ChargePoint v SemaConnect Judgement Order

ChargePoint has filed a Notice of Appeal (PDF).

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