- law office
- State Farm says Amazon Alexa feature infringes its patent
- Amazon allegedly copied tech after meeting with potential partners
(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc used patented technology belonging to State Farm Mutual auto insurer to develop an elderly care service for the e-commerce giant’s virtual assistant software Alexa, State Farm said in a lawsuit in federal court in Delaware on Thursday.
State Farm said in the lawsuit that Amazon copied certain aspects of its Sundial advanced healthcare assistive technology after a meeting about its integration with Alexa.
Amazon declined to comment. State Farm, based in Bloomington, Illinois, said in a statement that this is the company’s first patent infringement lawsuit.
Sundial has a “virtual care center” that allows caregivers to connect with older adults living independently, State Farm said. The insurer said it met with Amazon in 2019 and 2020 to discuss using the sundial for Alexa-enabled devices.
The lawsuit alleges that Amazon does not have any comparable aged care products and “saw an opportunity to replicate State Farm’s pioneering proprietary technology and avoid the costly and time-consuming effort necessary to develop its own innovations.”
State Farm launched Sundial in June 2020, while Amazon launched the Alexa Care Hub in November 2020 and the Alexa Together subscription service in December, the complaint said.
The lawsuit accuses Amazon of copying technology including the sundial’s check-in and monitoring features, a “moments” that coordinate caregiver responsibilities, and a chatbot for seniors to interact with the platform.
State Farm also accused Amazon of adopting an “anti-competitive model of behavior” with its former partners.
“This is just the latest example of Amazon’s unfair use of its broad platform and global scale to steal innovation from other companies for personal gain,” State Farm said.
The case is State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co v. Amazon.com Inc, U.S. District Court, Delaware, No. 1:22-cv-01447.
State Farm: Michael De Vries, Adam Alper, Akshay Deoras, Kat Li and Leslie Schmidt of Kirkland & Ellis
For Amazon: Attorney information unavailable
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