Groupon's lawyers argue that IBM doesn't use the patents and claim they are invalid.
The allegation of IBM on Groupon came in 2016 over four patents. Groupon has refused to pay for a license because they believe that IBM is claiming ownership of the building blocks of the internet. "A key question for you in this case is whether these patents cover the world wide web", said J. David Hadden. Out of these four patents, two were issued for Prodigy, an online service that offered access to a broad range of networked services, developed by IBM and many others. 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.
An IBM executive is expected to testify during the two-week trial about licensing deals with technology companies like Amazon and Google, providing a rare glimpse into IBM's efforts to derive revenue from its large patent portfolio. 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.
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The whole situation is a bit "one's bad and the other's worse" but as the patent spat is still ongoing, we'll have to wait and see if IBM or Groupon comes out on top.
"We understand the challenges Groupon faced in trying to become profitable, but that does not give it the right to infringe on our IP rights as innovators", said Doug Shelton, spokesperson for IBM, in an email statement.
Hadden countered IBM was unreasonably seeking money from every significant internet company.
"We are here because IBM has another business, a business it doesn't talk about in its TV commercials", Hadden said.