United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
TENSTREET, LLC, an Oklahoma limited liability company, Plaintiff,
DRIVERREACH, LLC, an Indiana limited liability company, Defendant.
ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS (ECF NO. 14)
R. SWEENEY II. JUDGE.
DriverReach, LLC moves to dismiss Plaintiff Tenstreet,
LLC’s complaint for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. (ECF No. 14.) The motion, now fully
briefed and ripe for decision is granted for the following
Tenstreet, LLC (“Tenstreet”) develops and sells
software products and services for the transportation
industry. (Compl. ¶ 7, ECF No. 1.) One such product,
XchangeTM, is a network that facilitates the
sharing of job applicant verification data between past and
prospective employers of commercial truck drivers.
(Id.) Tenstreet acquired a patent for
XchangeTM on March 27, 2012, U.S. Patent No. 8,
145, 575 (the “’575 patent”), entitled
“Peer to Peer Sharing of Job Applicant
Information.” (Compl. ¶ 8, ECF No. 1.)
‘575 patent explains that federal regulations require
employers of commercial truck drivers to complete a
verification process before hiring a driver. (‘575
Patent, ECF No. 1-1 at 1:18-20.) Part of this process
involves verifying the driver’s employment history from
the preceding three years. (Id. at 1:20-21.) Before
Tenstreet’s product, XchangeTM, was created,
employers would verify this data by contacting the
driver’s previous employer via fax, phone, or through a
commercial employment history database. (Id. at
1:21-24.) The ‘575 patent alleges that this method was
“time consuming” and “expensive” for
the employers and often resulted in errors that drivers were
unable to correct. (Id. at 1:25-29.)
sought to streamline this process by creating a “method
for peer-to-peer sharing of job applicant data over a
network.” (Id. at 5:42-43.) Claim 1 of the
‘575 patent is representative and dispositive of the
asserted claims. It describes the network as a
“computerized central exchange that interfaces with
requesters, providers, and job applicants.”
(Id. at 1:40-42.) Requesters are prospective
employers who seek verification data about a job applicant.
(Id. at 1:42-44.) Providers are former employers who
possess the verification data of a job applicant.
(Id. at 1:44-46.) The exchange manages the
interactions of each participant by providing access to a
communication channel depending on the classification of the
requester, provider, or job applicant seeking access to the
exchange. (Id. at 1:48-51.) The communication
channel may be an online interface, a facsimile interface, or
an electronically stored data interface. (Id. at
the exchange will receive a request from a prospective
employer, a requester, to verify the employment data of a job
applicant. (Id. at 1:58-60.) The job applicant must
then authorize this verification. (Id. at 1:60-61.)
Next, the request is routed to the past employer, the
provider, through the communication channel of that provider.
(Id. at 1:63-65.) The provider then submits the
verification data to the exchange, which then routes the
completed verification data to the requester. (Id.
at 1:66-67; 2:1.)
job applicants and providers can store the verification data
in a centralized database to complete subsequent requests.
(Id. at 2:11-13.) Requesters, providers, and job
applicants may check the status of a verification transaction
with the exchange. (Id. at 2:16-18.)
‘575 patent alleges that this network improves upon the
previous verification process by managing “the
complexity associated with different parties participating in
different ways with the network so that individual partners
do not have to manage it for themselves.” (Id.
at 2:64-67.) Moreover, the patent claims that the software
provides additional protections for drivers against
inaccurate data being shared with prospective employers,
beyond what the regulations provide. (Id. at
3:56-63.) By using XchangeTM, drivers can review
and correct information before it is sent to the prospective
employer. (Id. at 2:7-10.)
alleges that Defendant DriverReach, LLC
(“DriverReach”) has infringed the ‘575
patent by selling its own employment verification product,
VOE Plus Solutions. (Compl. ¶ 2, ECF No. 1.) DriverReach
has moved to dismiss on the ground that the ‘575 patent
is patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. §
101. (Def.’s Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 14.)
survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a
plaintiff must allege “enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). In
considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the court
takes the complaint’s factual allegations as true and
draws all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff’s
favor. Orgone Capital III, LLC v. Daubenspeck, 912
F.3d 1039, 1044 (7th Cir. 2019). The court need not
“accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.” Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265,
addition to the allegations in the complaint, on a motion to
dismiss, the court may consider “documents that are
attached to the complaint, documents that are central to the
complaint and are referred to in it, and information that is
properly subject to judicial notice.” Williamson v.
Curran, 714 F.3d 432, 436 (7th Cir. 2013).
“[D]oc-uments attached to a motion to dismiss are
considered part of the pleadings if they are referred to in
the plaintiff’s complaint and are central to his
claim.’” McCready v. eBay, Inc., 453
F.3d 882, 891 (7th Cir. 2006) (quoting 188 LLC
v. Trinity Indus., Inc., 300 F.3d 730, 735 (7th Cir.
2002)). Thus, the court may consider such a document
“without converting a motion to dismiss into a motion
for summary judgment.” Id. at 891–92.
a plaintiff pleads facts that show its suit [is] barred . .
., it may plead itself out of court under a Rule 12(b)(6)
analysis.” Orgone Capital, 912 F.3d at 1044
(quoting Whirlpool Fin. Corp. v. GN Holdings, Inc.,
67 F.3d 605, 608 (7th Cir. 1995)); Bogie v.
Rosenberg, 705 F.3d 603, 609 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting
Hamilton v. O’Leary,976 F.2d 341, 343 (7th
Cir. 1992)) (on a motion to dismiss “district courts
are free to consider ‘any facts set forth in the
complaint that undermine the plaintiff’s
claim’”). “When a complaint fails to state
a claim for relief, the plaintiff should ordinarily be given
an opportunity . . . to amend the complaint to correct the