Groupon Goes To War With IBM Over Software Patents
Groupon Inc has sued IBM Corp, accusing it of infringing a patent similar to generation that is helping companies solicit consumers in line with the purchasers’ places at a given second.
Groupon alleged that IBM’s WebSphere Commerce software, used by merchants for tracking sales and customer orders, improperly relies on its technology for using GPS and social networking data to provide personalized location-based deals. It is seeking royalties on what it described as “the billions of dollars in revenue that IBM has received based on its unlawful use of Groupon’s patented technology.”
IBM’s complaint against Groupon is similar to other lawsuits it has filed against other online services like OpenTable and Priceline. The argument is that they built their technology based on patents related to the old-school telecommunications service Prodigy and that they have failed to pay for the appropriate licenses.
“Over the past three years, IBM has attempted to conclude a fair and reasonable patent license agreement with Groupon, and we are disappointed that Groupon is seeking to divert attention from its patent infringement by suing IBM,” said an IBM spokesperson. “Our intent is to reach a fair conclusion under which Groupon acknowledges its obligation and compensates IBM for the use of IBM’s patented technology.”
Both Groupon and IBM are facing tough times.