Papa John’s International and its subsidiary Star Papa have been sued over the US-based pizza franchise’s mobile app.
Oklahoma-based Fall Line Patents filed its patent infringement complaint yesterday, August 15, at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Fall Line Patents is the owner of US patent number 9,454,748, called “System and method for data management”.
According to the complaint, the patent “teaches methods for managing and collecting data from a remote computing device” by gathering location-specific information on different hardware and software platforms on one device.
Fall Line Patents alleged that Papa John’s has infringed claims of the ‘748 patent by developing and distributing a mobile app. Papa John’s mobile app, which allows customers to order food and access offers, uses a variety of remote computing devices that gather and transmit location-specific information, said the claim.
For example, Papa John’s mobile app includes a questionnaire consisting of a series of questions that are customised to a location.
In addition, Fall Line Patents claimed that Papa John’s has caused its customers to directly infringe the patent by using the mobile app.
“Such steps by defendant included, among other things, advising or directing customers and end-users to use the accused products in an infringing manner; advertising and promoting the use of the accused products in an infringing manner; and/or distributing instructions that guide users to use the accused products in an infringing manner,” said the claim.
Fall Line Patents is seeking an injunction against Papa John’s. The company also alleged that the infringement is wilful and is seeking damages.
There are more than 3,400 Papa John's stores in the US and Canada.