01 May 2012

Progressive Sues State Farm and Hartford Financial Services, Alleges Patent Infringement

by Jason Arango, Posted in News

Yesterday Progressive filed patent infringement lawsuits against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance and Hartford Financial Services, alleging the rival insurers were infringing on three patents related to monitoring vehicle usage and utilizing that data to help determine insurance rates. Business Week reports that both complaints were filed in a Cleveland federal court and “the complaints target Hartford’s ‘TrueLane’ and State Farm’s ‘Drive Safe & Save’ initiatives.”

Progressive’s program uses an on board computer to provide data on a driver’s location, speed, mileage, and other relevant items to assemble a “safety score” that can be used to assign insurance rates. Now they’re claiming the technology being used by some of their competitors is eerily similar.

Progressive has already filed suit against Allstate and Liberty Mutual over similar programs, and contends that they’re “suffering from the effects” of other companies infringing on their technology.

The initial suit against Allstate has already been settled, and a mediation conference between Progressive and Liberty Mutual is set for this Thursday. As for the most recent batch of lawsuits, a statement released by Hartford said the company “denies Progressive’s allegations and intends to defend the lawsuit vigorously.”