Samsara Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Motive

Lawsuit Follows Similar Allegations in Omnitracs Litigation
Samsara offices
Samsara's offices in San Francisco. (Samsara)

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Fleet telematics provider Samsara Inc. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit alleging that competitor Motive Technologies Inc. has for years covertly stolen its technology patents and adopted them as its own.

“Samsara brings this action against Motive to put an end to Motive’s pervasive copying and use of Samsara’s proprietary technology, its false and misleading advertisements, and its unauthorized and fraudulent access to Samsara’s computers and networks,” said the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Delaware on Jan. 24.

The civil lawsuit alleged that Motive’s unlawful business plan has been “simple, predictable and endorsed by its senior management team.” Samsara alleges three counts of telematics patent infringement, fraud, computer fraud and false advertising. It seeks punitive damages and other relief that the court finds “just and proper.”

“From duplicitously accessing Samsara’s software under the guise of fictitious customer accounts; to copying Samsara’s patented technology and product designs; to soliciting Samsara’s employees for confidential information; to lifting Samsara’s mission statement, branding and marketing strategies, Motive has closely watched Samsara’s patented innovations and then resorted to deceitful measures to copy them,” Samsara wrote in its complaint.

Samsara Logo

Samsara said it has tried for over a year to address Motive’s conduct prior to resorting to litigation, but Motive’s leadership has not only “refused to own up to its actions, but has used this time to continue and escalate its tactics.”

Motive did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment on the Samsara lawsuit.

In October, Omnitracs made similar allegations against Motive in a patent infringement lawsuit. In a Dec. 6 court filing Motive attacked the legal standing of that patent infringement lawsuit.

Motive logo

The Samsara lawsuit said Motive’s “clandestine campaign to infiltrate” Samsara’s platform has been carried out and sanctioned by its CEO, chief product officer and chief technology officer.

The lawsuit said Motive, originally founded in 2013 as KeepTruckin, began by offering an electronic logbook for trucking companies. However, by late 2019, Samsara’s lawsuit alleged, KeepTruckin began to realize that commitments it had made on digital freight brokerage were not working out. In a shift, it began developing systems for connecting physical operations and developing AI tools to automate workflows — the same market that Samsara had pioneered years earlier.

Samsara alleged that in 2021 KeepTruckin introduced a product called AI Dashcam.

Shoaib Makani


“That AI Dashcam, like the Samsara dash camera released years earlier, includes an AI processor vision algorithm that can detect unsafe drivers and alter drivers in real time,” the lawsuit alleged. “KeepTruckin also copied Samsara with respect to its vehicle telematics product.”

In 2022, KeepTruckin rebranded itself as Motive.

The lawsuit alleges that Motive’s efforts involved numerous Motive personnel — using fictitious names and companies as cover — extracting information about Samsara’s products and service by accessing Samsara’s platform, obtaining Samsara hardware, and contacting Samsara’s customer service representatives.

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“Motive’s impermissible access to this account only stopped after Samsara discovered the improper conduct and disabled the account on or around June 8, 2022,” the lawsuit said.

In a statement, Samsara said its allegations highlight that Motive’s CEO Shoaib Makani was personally involved in Motive’s conduct, along with other senior-level employees down to members of the sales and customer support teams. Also, activity records show that Motive employees surreptitiously viewed Samsara’s dashboard more than 20,000 times from 2018 to 2022, according to the Samsara statement.