Supply chain planning and Omni-channel  technology provider Blue Yonder announced this week that it has filed a lawsuit for patent infringement against arch rival Kinaxis, Inc. and Kinaxis Corp. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, alleges infringement of six patents covering supply chain management technologies.

Privately held Blue Yonder, headquartered in Scottsdale Arizona, is the former JDA Software, who in turn it its corporate history acquired the former supply planning software providers i2 Technologies and Manugistics.  After acquiring German based artificial intelligence technology provider Blue Yonder in 2018, the company assumed its current branding earlier this year.

In its lawsuit, Blue Yonder alleges that Kinaxis utilized solutions allowing the Ottawa based company “to circumvent the development process and investment necessary to develop new products.”

Kinaxis has since responded indicating: “Kinaxis intends to vigorously defend against the claims made by Blue Yonder and consider all appropriate responses and avenues of legal recourse against Blue Yonder.

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Added Perspective

Patent lawsuits are not an uncommon occurrence among rival software companies and in the area of supply chain planning, there is indeed vivid history.

In September of 2006, the then i2 Technologies filed a patent infringement suite against global ERP provider SAP alleging use of seven patents related to supply planning algorithms. Both companies were also arch competitors in the supply chain planning market at the time. The lawsuit made headlines in technology media and was eventually resolved in an out of court settlement. The suit was also filed in the United States Court for the Eastern District of Texas, which had garnered a reputation for patent friendly rulings.

Even though Blue Yonder is headquartered in Arizona, its lawsuit is filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

No doubt this legal process will extend itself and the competition among these two firms will likely escalate even more.


Bob Ferrari

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Added Note: Kinaxis is a named sponsor of the Supply Chain Matters blog.