What’s Happening: Ouster, a leading lidar sensor provider, has filed a patent infringement complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against Shanghai-based Hesai Group and related entities. The complaint requests that the ITC investigate under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. In addition, Ouster has filed a patent infringement complaint against Hesai in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, seeking an injunction and monetary damages.
Why It Matters: Ouster’s complaint alleges that Hesai’s lidar devices, components, and products infringe on its patents, and requests that the ITC issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order against Hesai and related entities to bar importation into the United States. The global lidar industry relies on fair competition, and protecting intellectual property is crucial to ensuring that advancements in automation and smart technologies can continue.
- Ouster invented digital lidar technology after an engineering breakthrough, resulting in a high-resolution sensor with a simplified architecture based on two silicon chips.
- Ouster holds one of the largest patent families in the lidar industry, with hundreds of granted and pending patents.
- Ouster’s complaint claims that Hesai stole their revolutionary patented technologies and incorporated them into their competing products.
- This is not the first time Hesai has faced a patent infringement claim from a U.S. company. In 2019, Velodyne Lidar also filed a lawsuit against Hesai, which resulted in a settlement that included millions of dollars upfront and ongoing royalties.
Bottom Line: Ouster’s patent infringement complaints against Hesai highlight the need for protection of intellectual property in the rapidly growing lidar industry. With the increasing importance of lidar technology in advanced automation and smart technologies, ensuring fair competition is crucial for continued innovation and growth. Ouster’s CEO Angus Pacala stated that the company will continue to enforce its intellectual property until infringing products are barred, emphasizing the importance of protecting IP in the global lidar industry.