February 2, 2021
As reported by the Ottawa Business Journal, Kinaxis has been named in a patent infringement suit brought by one of their biggest competitors, Blue Yonder. The suit claims that Kinaxis made use of six Blue Yonder patents in the design of its supply-chain technology.
Both Kinaxis and Blue Yonder operate in the supply-chain software development market, and generate significant profits by licensing the use of their software to large corporations seeking to streamline their operations. A news release from Blue Yonder asserted that the similarity of the two companies’ products is more than coincidence. Blue Yonder claims that their patented solutions were used by Kinaxis to “circumvent the development process and investment necessary to develop new products”.
The suit comes at a time when Kinaxis is experiencing significant growth. The Ottawa company’s client base already includes Ford, Nissan, and Proctor and Gamble, and revenues for this fiscal year are projected to grow by $192 million. In a statement, the company confirmed their intentions to “vigorously defend against the claims made by Blue Yonder and consider all appropriate responses and avenues of legal recourse.”
Blue Yonder, however, is no small competition for Kinaxis. Best Buy, Coca-Cola, and Home Depot are just a few of the 3,300 businesses using Blue Yonder software. To attract such large customers, Blue Yonder claims to have invested more than US$1 billion in research and development over the last ten years, which has reportedly lead to more than 400 patents either granted in their favour or currently pending. The company’s chief legal and administrative officer reportedly stated that they have already amassed an “unrivaled patent portfolio in the area of supply chain technology”, and that they will seek to defend and uphold their intellectual property in a manner that ensures no service interruption for their customers.
Authors: Sam Galway and Sasha Seeber