Legal

IBM Wants $167M From Groupon In Patent Infringement Case

International Business Machines is seeking $167 million from Groupon, contending in a lawsuit that the daily deal website operator used IBM’s patented technology without its approval.

Reuters, citing a lawsuit, reported IBM lawyer John Desmarais argued in front of a jury in federal court in Delaware that Groupon infringed on eCommerce patents that had been licensed previously to Amazon, Facebook and Google for $20 million to $50 million for each company. “Most big companies have taken licenses to these patents,” Desmarais said. “Groupon has not. The new kid on the block refuses to take responsibility for using these inventions.” But Groupon’s lawyer, J. David Hadden, sees it differently, arguing that IBM claimed it owned the building blocks of the Internet and was overestimating what its patent covers, reported Reuters. “A key question for you in this case is whether these patents cover the world wide web,” Hadden told jurors, according to the report. “They do not, and that is because IBM did not invent the world wide web.” The trial is expected to last two weeks and will include testimony from an IBM executive about licensing deals with other tech players. Reuters noted that testimony will give the world a look into how IBM patents and licenses its technology.

Back in 2016, IBM sued Groupon, contending the patent infringement of four patents, two of which have to do with Prodigy, which was an Internet player back in the late 1980s created by IBM and others and was a system for showing apps and adds that reduce the loads on the servers. IBM contends Groupon also infringed on patents for a single sign-on. The IBM lawyer argued to jurors that the company is a huge inventor and licenses its patents on reasonable terms. He said IBM had no other option but to sue Groupon. But Groupon’s lawyer disagrees. “We are here because IBM has another business that IBM does not talk about in its commercials,” he said, according to Reuters. “In that business IBM uses its huge stock of patents as a club to get money from other companies.”

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