Beacon Navigation GmbH v. Ford Motor Company

Dickinson Wright

Case Name: Beacon Navigation GmbH v. Ford Motor Company
Docket Number: 2:13-cv-11381-PJD-MAR
Date Filed: 3/28/2013
Judge: Hon.  Victoria A. Roberts
Status: Stayed 01/07/2016

On March 28, 2013, Beacon Navigation GmbH (“Plaintiff”) brought suit against Ford Motor Company (“Defendant”) alleging that the Defendant infringed United States Patent Nos. 6,360,167 and 5,878,368 (collectively, “the Patents-in-Suit”).  Patent No. 6,360,167 discloses a vehicle navigation system with location-based multi-media annotations.  The navigation system provides multi-media annotations, such as text, graphics, and/or audio, based on the present location of the vehicle.  The navigation system includes a wireless communication system, which interacts with and provides further location-based multi-media annotations.

Patent No. 5,878,368 discloses a navigation system with user definable cost values.  The navigation system will determine a route from a selected beginning point to a desired destination by evaluating the “cost” of the road segments to be traveled.  Once the cost is determined, the navigation system will recommend the route with the lowest total cost.  The navigation system may factor in congestion levels, highway preference and avoidance, and toll road preference and avoidance in determining the recommended route.

This action, among many others, was transferred from Delaware to Michigan on March 28, 2013.  On May 30, 2013, the Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend the Complaint and a Motion to Consolidate Cases.  The Defendant did not oppose consolidation, but it did oppose the Amended Complaint filing.  The Plaintiff claims that it is in the court’s best interest to allow the amendment because it would save both judicial and party resources.  Before the court could issue an order on the motions, however, Judge Duggan signed an order staying the case pursuant to the court’s August 12, 2013 order in case numbers 13-cv-11389 and 13-cv-11511, which stayed the cases pending the results of a re-examination notice filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office questioning patentability of the Patents-in-Suit. Judge Duggan signed the order on September 17, 2013.  

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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