State Farm lawsuit says Amazon stole elderly care technology

  • State Farm said features of Amazon’s Alexa infringe its patents
  • Amazon reportedly copied technology after meeting over a potential partnership

(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc used State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co’s patented technology to develop aged care services for the e-commerce giant’s Alexa virtual assistance software, State Farm said in a lawsuit in federal court in Delaware on Thursday.

State Farm said in the lawsuit that after meeting to integrate with Alexa, Amazon copied aspects of its Sundial technology to support eldercare.

Amazon declined to comment. The Bloomington, Illinois-based State Farm said in a statement that this is the first time the company has filed a patent infringement lawsuit.

According to State Farm, Sundial has a “virtual care center” that allows caregivers to connect with seniors who are living independently. The insurance company said it met with Amazon in 2019 and 2020 to customize Sundial for Alexa-enabled devices.

The lawsuit alleged that Amazon had no similar products to care for the elderly and “saw an opportunity to copy State Farm’s groundbreaking, proprietary technologies and avoid the expensive and time-consuming effort that would have been required to innovate on their own.” .

State Farm launched Sundial in June 2020, while Amazon launched its Alexa Care Hub in November 2020 and its subscription service Alexa Together last December, the complaint said.

The lawsuit accuses Amazon of copying technology, including Sundial’s check-in and monitoring capabilities, its “friend circle” to coordinate caregiver tasks, and a chatbot for seniors to interact with the platform.

State Farm also accused Amazon of engaging in a “pattern of anticompetitive behavior” against its former partners.

“This is just the latest example of Amazon unfairly using its widespread platform and global reach to siphon off other companies’ innovations for its own benefit,” State Farm said.

The case is State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co v. Amazon.com Inc, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, No. 1:22-cv-01447.

For State Farm: Michael De Vries, Adam Alper, Akshay Deoras, Kat Li and Leslie Schmidt of Kirkland & Ellis

For Amazon: Attorney information not available

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Blake Britain

Thomson Reuters

Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. You can reach him at [email protected]

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