Updated to include a statement from Motive CEO Shoaib Makani.
Fleet telematics provider Samsara Inc. filed suit against rival Motive Technologies in federal court Wednesday, alleging Motive, formerly KeepTruckin, copied and used its proprietary technology, engaged in false and misleading advertising and created fictitious accounts to gain access to Samsara’s connected vehicle platforms.
In the 94-page lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, Samsara claims Motive, a dashcam and GPS provider, based much of its product line and its business strategy on “routinely stealing Samsara’s technologies and fraudulently accessing Samsara’s platforms,” the company said in a statement.
Over a four-year period from 2018 to 2022, Samsara claims Motive employees covertly viewed Samsara’s dashboard, which the company describes as the “epicenter for all the data collection and reporting across all Samsara products — Fleet Telematics (VG Series), Fleet Safety Cameras (CM Series), and Asset Tracking” on its website.
Late Wednesday, Motive CEO Shoaib Makani responded to the allegations lodged by Samsara.
“Samsara’s allegations and associated campaign against Motive are meritless,” Makani said in a statement to FreightWaves. “They are a result of Samsara’s inability to develop competitive AI technology and the fact that they are losing customers, especially large Enterprise accounts, to Motive. This courtroom tactic is an attempt to limit competition and we will fight these baseless accusations to the fullest extent.”
Samsara (NYSE: IOT), a developer of the connected operations cloud, was founded by Sanjit Biswas, the company’s CEO, and John Bicket, who serves as its CTO, in 2015. The two met as graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In a statement, Samsara claims it was forced to file suit against San Francisco-based Motive after more than a year of urging Motive’s leadership and board of directors “to cease their unlawful activities.”
San Francisco-based Samsara has more than 2,200 employees worldwide and has more than 20,000 customers in the energy, food and beverage, construction and manufacturing and transportation industries.
Samsara’s data platform applications offer video-based safety, vehicle telematics and apps and driver workflows.
In a founders’ note about the lawsuit, Biswas and Bicket claim they discovered a comprehensive years-long campaign by Motive to copy Samsara, “from our patented technologies down to our company mission statement,” while investigating a third-party benchmark report, which was paid for by Motive, about its products in 2022.
“Specifically, Motive’s senior management team, including its CEO Shoaib Makani did everything from creating Samsara customer accounts under fictitious names, to accessing our systems, to calling our support lines to solicit information about our platform.”
The lawsuit includes a screenshot of video footage of a Samsara device claiming to show Makani and Jairam Ranganathan, Motive’s chief product officer, “studying Samsara’s products.”
Motive is embattled in a legal fight against another safety and fleet technology provider Omnitracs, which filed suit against the telematics provider in October. The lawsuit centers on 11 patents Motive allegedly copied from Omnitracs.
FreightWaves’ Noi Mahoney contributed to this report.