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Rail Law Alert No. 8

APTA Settles Frivolous Patent Infringement Suit Against ArrivalStar

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has announced an agreement to settle its lawsuit challenging Luxembourg-based company ArrivalStar’s allegedly frivolous actions against various public transportation agencies, which accused the agencies of infringing on patents relating to arrival and status messaging systems.  ArrivalStar had previously targeted at least 11 North American public transportation agencies, claiming in each instance that the agency’s arrival and status messaging systems infringed on ArrivalStar’s patents.  Rather than assume the cost of defending against ArrivalStar’s claims, each of these agencies opted separately to settle through confidential agreements.  On June 25, APTA filed suit against ArrivalStar on behalf of over 1,500 public transportation agencies, alleging that ArrivalStar’s patents were invalid and unenforceable, and claiming that public transportation agencies were protected by 11th Amendment immunity from such lawsuits.  Although the terms of the settlement are confidential, APTA has announced that as part of the settlement ArrivalStar has agreed not to file new patent suits against APTA’s public transportation agency members or their vendors.