Kapsch TrafficCom is pleased to report that the United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has concluded an inter partes review initiated by Kapsch TrafficCom (Kapsch) with resulting in a decision that the claims within a radio frequency identification (RFID) patent owned by Neology are invalid and unpatentable. The PTAB conclusion invalidating this patent further affirms the ongoing Kapsch advocacy of open protocol standards in the tolling industry to support nationwide toll interoperability.
The claims within the 8,944,337B2 (‘337′) patent rejected as unpatentable by PTAB applied to Neology’s 6C switchable tolling tag. The Neology switchable tag uses RFID technology at highway toll zones and is manually activated and deactivated using a switch device. Kapsch initiated the patent review on the grounds that the claims therein were unpatentable and invalid because they were all anticipated by prior art and/or obvious. The PTAB agreed with the Kapsch arguments, and its decision reinforces the earlier ruling in October 2017 by the International Trade Commission (ITC), which found that Kapsch did not violate any other Neology patent assertions on several of its other RFID patents related to the 6C RFID protocol, also known as the ‘6C Standard’.
“The 6C Standard is and should remain an open communications protocol,” said Chris Murray, president of Kapsch TrafficCom North America.
“We applaud the PTAB’s recent decision, and will continue to support open protocol standards, which will facilitate national interoperability (NIOP) requirements by providing access to those who wish to implement various toll technology specifications.”
Kapsch has been a strong proponent of open standards and interoperability within the Electronic Tolling Solutions industry and marketplace. Open standard communication protocols are critical to meeting the goals of the US Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), enacted in 2012, which mandates national agreement on tolling technologies and business practices to facilitate national electronic tolling interoperability. In support of this, Kapsch released and published its Open Standard Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) specification to the public in 2013, enabling open and free access to developers working with the highly reliable and thoroughly tested TDM specification. The TDM protocol is currently utilized by the E-ZPass® Group, the largest interoperable tolling network in the country.