IBM seeks $167 million from Groupon in dispute over early internet patents

IBM seeks $167 million from Groupon in dispute over early internet patents

IBM demands $167 million from Groupon for using its patents

IBM has demanded a settlement of $167 million in its latest lawsuit at U.S. federal court, alleging that e-commerce marketplace Groupon is using IBM's technology without authorization, reports Reuters.

John Desmarais, IBM lawyer, informed a jury in a federal court in DE about Groupon overstepping patents that describe foundational e-commerce technology which has already been licensed to Facebook Inc., Amazon Inc., and Google's Alphabet Inc., for an amount between $20 million and $50 million per company.

Addressing the jury IBM lawyer John Desmarais said: "Most big companies have taken licenses to these patents".

Groupon's lawyer reportedly argued that IBM exceeded the coverage of its patents and claimed ownership of fundamentals of the internet. It describes a system for showing applications and advertisements that reduces server loads.

Groupon's legal representative hit back however, saying: "A key question for you in this case is whether these patents cover the world wide web". IBM uses its "huge stock" of patents "as a club" to ensure that any company doing business on the web must go through IBM, he said. Another patent concerned "single sign on" that enables customers to log-in to a merchants website without the need to use a Facebook or Google account.

Desmarais told jurors IBM is a prolific innovator and seeks to license its patents on reasonable terms. "We are here because IBM has another business that IBM does not talk about in its commercials", he said.

IBM is asking jurors to award the company $166.5 million for using four patented technologies.

Early this year IBM sued Expedia accusing that the travel portal has been infringing on several of IBM's patents for some years now.

In response, Groupon countered with the argument that IBM is being unreasonable with its efforts to grab money from noteworthy internet firms.

IBM is suing coupons site Groupon for $167m over allegations the company used patented technology without permission.

Latest News