WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a win for the electric vehicle charging industry, the Supreme Court of the United States has definitively put to rest the patent lawsuit between ChargePoint, Inc. and SemaConnect, Inc. Initially filed in December 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, ChargePoint claimed the violation of four patents for networked EV charging, essentially claiming a unique right to the general category of internet-connected EV chargers. In denying ChargePoint’s petition for a writ of certiorari, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively grants all EV charging companies the right to develop and produce smart networked charging stations, and compete in a free market environment.
The patents in question broadly described the concept of using communication over a network to turn energy flow on and off at an electric vehicle charging station. The U.S. Court of Appeals dismissed the case in favor of SemaConnect, writing in March 2019 that the disputed claims in the patents were abstract ideas not valid for patent. In denying ChargePoint’s final appeal, the Supreme Court affirms the lower court’s opinion that using a machine to communicate with a server is an abstract business idea, which cannot belong to a single company. SemaConnect and its competitors have won the right to continue developing and selling smart networked EV charging stations.
“We fought on behalf of the entire electric vehicle charging industry,” said Mahi Reddy, Chief Executive Officer at SemaConnect. “This decision to deny ChargePoint’s appeal will allow us to focus on what SemaConnect does best: providing the best EV amenities to drivers and properties; offering utilities smart load management controls with the open standards-based SemaConnect Network; and helping companies, cities, and states reduce emissions in 2020 and beyond.”
“Auto makers, electric utilities and EV charging owner/operators need networked charging infrastructure in order to deliver the best charging experience to EV drivers,” said Mark Pastrone, Chief Operating Officer at SemaConnect. “With this Supreme Court decision in hand, we welcome the opportunity to continue to improve our charging solutions within a competitive marketplace.”