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FOUNDERS’ NOTE: SAMSARA V. MOTIVE

January 24, 2024

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Samsara filed a lawsuit today against Motive to stop its fraudulent conduct and theft of our intellectual property.

By: Sanjit Biswas, CEO and Co-Founder, and John Bicket, CTO and Co-Founder

As company founders, we are driven by a desire to make an impact with innovative new technologies. Over many years, we’ve recruited talented product teams, invested hundreds of millions of dollars, and spent countless hours working alongside our customers to both understand and solve their challenges. These new technologies are improving physical operations every day across industries, helping keep frontline workers out of harm's way, improving operational efficiency and sustainability at global scale.

When companies compete by building unique, differentiated technologies, customers come out ahead with access to better products than they had before. This gives us a deep respect and appreciation for this competition, which is why we even integrate directly with competitors when it benefits our mutual customers. 

This spirit of competition pushes us to do better for our customers every day. We’re proud to have received over a hundred patents for the hard work of our R&D teams, and have increased our investment in R&D every year since founding. 

Motive’s Culture of Theft and Deception

We always guide our teams to obsess over customers instead of the competition, but in recent years we started to notice a concerning trend by a company in our industry, Motive. At first, it was just prospective customers remarking how similar Motive’s products appeared to ours in terms of form and functionality. This escalated into Motive deploying misleading marketing campaigns and sales tactics, which led us to take a closer look.

In 2022, while investigating a deceptive third-party benchmark report about our products that Motive paid for, we discovered a comprehensive, years-long campaign by Motive to copy Samsara – from our patented technologies down to our company mission statement. 

Specifically, Motive’s senior management team, including its CEO Shoaib Makani (pictured below), did everything from creating Samsara customer accounts under fictitious names, to accessing our systems, to calling our support lines to solicit information about our platform. And this was not just once or twice – we have documented hours upon hours of videos, trips, and logs of Motive employees, including its CEO, CTO, and CPO, posing as Samsara customers to study our products. 

Still frame capture of Motive’s CEO and CPO using Samsara products.

Looking at what a competitor is doing can be acceptable and even productive in that it might spur innovation to help better serve customers. But that is not what Motive is doing here. We found that dozens of Motive senior employees were using our products for years, viewing Samsara's dashboard over 20,600 times across the known fake customer accounts they created. This conduct only stopped when we discovered and disabled access to the known Motive accounts. 

Number of Samsara Dashboard Views by Known Motive-Related Orgs from 2018-2022 
Number of Samsara Dashboard Views by Known Motive-Related Orgs from 2018-2022

Motive’s Unethical Business Practices Must Stop

This information is not coming as a surprise to Motive today. We contacted Motive’s Board and CEO about this misconduct and told them to knock it off. However, the company responded by denying any wrongdoing and doubling down on its theft and deception campaign. In fact, Motive’s Vice President of Product continued to access Samsara's platform even after we raised the issue to Motive's Board and management. 

Motive also continued to make false claims about product superiority based on misleading marketing reports, which they financed, when they knew the product testing methods were flawed. These claims make even less sense given that dozens of their product leaders and executives accessed our platform nearly every week for four years to copy it. It turns out Motive has a history of stealing from other competitors as well – Omnitracs, another company in our industry, recently sued them for willful theft of its intellectual property.   

We believe that integrity matters in our industry, and the customers we serve deserve transparency and technology partners who truly invest in and prioritize innovation. Motive’s leadership team has taken the opposite approach, focusing its business strategy on stealing our intellectual property. This has led us to resort to litigation today to protect our company and the substantial investment we have made over multiple years into R&D. 

It is important for our entire industry that innovation continues. Our customers run the world’s critical infrastructure, and they deserve the best technology to increase the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of their operations.

For more information, please visit here for more details. 

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