The Supply Chain Matters blog updates readers on a lawsuit filed in December 2020 by Blue Yonder alleging patent infringement against arch-rival Kinaxis, Inc.
Judging from the number of readers of our original highlights of this lawsuit, we wanted to update to the latest development.
This week Kinaxis filed its initial pleadings in response to the allegations filed in the Northern District of Texas by rival supply chain planning technology provider Blue Yonder (formerly JDA Software).
In a press release announcing this action, Kinaxis indicated that it filed a motion of dismissal with the court citing that Blue Yonder’s patents are invalid.
According to the Kinaxis statement:
“Kinaxis has filed a motion to dismiss the entirety of Blue Yonder’s complaint, citing that Blue Yonder’s patents are invalid. Blue Yonder asserts six patents that cover well-established concepts in the field of inventory and supply chain management, where Kinaxis and Blue Yonder are competitors. Those patents simply take generic computer technology and apply it to decades-old concepts like sourcing a bill of materials or allocating manufacturing resources. U.S. law does not allow people to patent “computerized shopping lists” under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 Alice decision.”
The technology provider further filed counterclaims indicating that Kinaxis does not infringe any of Blue Yonder’s patents and that the patents are invalid. Further alleged is that Blue Yonder has violated U.S. federal and Texas state law by misappropriating certain of Kinaxis’s trade secrets. There is also a motion seeking Blue Yonder to return or destroy confidential Kinaxis documents and stop using such documents in this case or in competition.
Kinaxis CEO John Sicard further indicated:
“Blue Yonder has resorted to litigation to compete where they have otherwise failed. They are using lawyers instead of engineers to play catch-up in the marketplace, where even Blue Yonder acknowledges significant losses to Kinaxis, including several very recent competitions that were in flight at the time of their initial filing. Kinaxis uses our own intellectual property and will not bow to legal threats.”
This blog reached out to Blue Yonder for any additional comments and were informed that outside of the initial press release in December, they are not making any further comment at this time.
As Supply Chain Matters indicated with the initial news in December, patent lawsuits are not an uncommon occurrence among rival software companies and in the area of supply chain planning, there is indeed vivid history. However, there is also history among these two arch competitors. From our lens, the Kinaxis response is a manifestation of that competitive sense.
We indicated our belief that this legal battle will extend itself and the competition among these two firms will likely escalate even more. That seems to be playing out. Judging from Kinaxis’s initial declared response there may be added circumstances that led to or surrounding this lawsuit.
For customers of either of these supply chain planning technology providers it is best to let the legal process play out since there seems to be more to come in the coming weeks and months.
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Disclosure: Kinaxis is a named sponsor of the Supply Chain Matters blog.