Groupon Faces Lawsuit from IBM for Failure to License Early Internet Patents

cageymaru

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IBM is seeking $167 million from Groupon for failure to purchase a license for patents such as "single sign on" technology where a customer can sign into a website with a user ID and password from another company. An example of this would be signing into Groupon with a Facebook or Google ID. Another patent in dispute is a server load optimization for showing applications and advertisements. The server load optimization comes from when IBM purchased Prodigy which developed an early forerunner to the internet in the late 1980's. 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," Hadden told jurors. "They do not and that is because IBM did not invent the world wide web." "We are here because IBM has another business that IBM does not talk about in its commercials," he said. "In that business IBM uses its huge stock of patents as a club to get money from other companies."
 

Zarathustra[H]

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If these date back to the 1980's, how are they still current? Don't patents expire after ~20 years?
 

terpsy

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IBM needs to go the FUCK AWAY! they do nothing but sick their lawyers on anything and everything to extort money.
 

pcgeekesq

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If these date back to the 1980's, how are they still current? Don't patents expire after ~20 years?
Not old patents, no.

Before the enabling legislation for the 1994 TRIPS agreement, US Patents ran for 17 years from the date of issue. Patent applications filed back then and continuation applications derived from them continue to enjoy that term. So if you filed an application in 1989, spent five years getting it issued, filed a continuation of it, spent five years getting the continuation issued, filed a second continuation based on the first and spent five years getting that issued, that second continuation of the 1989 application might issue in 2004 and not expire until 2021.
This was known as a "submarine patent" and is no longer possible, although it's said some such applications are still in process at the USPTO.

Now patents run 20 years from the date of filing, plus some additional time (sometimes a year or more) to compensate for any undue delays in issuing the patent that were caused by the USPTO.

Disclaimer: this is not legal advice. You are not my client.
 

Mugato

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Not old patents, no.

Before the enabling legislation for the 1994 TRIPS agreement, US Patents ran for 17 years from the date of issue. Patent applications filed back then and continuation applications derived from them continue to enjoy that term. So if you filed an application in 1989, spent five years getting it issued, filed a continuation of it, spent five years getting the continuation issued, filed a second continuation based on the first and spent five years getting that issued, that second continuation of the 1989 application might issue in 2004 and not expire until 2021.
This was known as a "submarine patent" and is no longer possible, although it's said some such applications are still in process at the USPTO.

Now patents run 20 years from the date of filing, plus some additional time (sometimes a year or more) to compensate for any undue delays in issuing the patent that were caused by the USPTO.

Disclaimer: this is not legal advice. You are not my client.
This is why I love [H]! We gots us a lot of smrt people on the boards. And folks assume gamers are all teenagers, pah.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Not old patents, no.

Before the enabling legislation for the 1994 TRIPS agreement, US Patents ran for 17 years from the date of issue. Patent applications filed back then and continuation applications derived from them continue to enjoy that term. So if you filed an application in 1989, spent five years getting it issued, filed a continuation of it, spent five years getting the continuation issued, filed a second continuation based on the first and spent five years getting that issued, that second continuation of the 1989 application might issue in 2004 and not expire until 2021.
This was known as a "submarine patent" and is no longer possible, although it's said some such applications are still in process at the USPTO.

Now patents run 20 years from the date of filing, plus some additional time (sometimes a year or more) to compensate for any undue delays in issuing the patent that were caused by the USPTO.

Disclaimer: this is not legal advice. You are not my client.
Good info, thanks.

I've only done some very limited patent applications over the years, and I started working well after 1994 :p
 

cjcox

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  1. They do not do "win-win" relationships and they never lose.
  2. They are not your friend.
  3. They believes the next "world war" is a war of patents and they strive to be the record holder on new patents *every* year.
  4. The don't really innovate, they acquire (especially if you have patents). And you had better accept their offer.
For you FOSS folks, Microsoft is a tiny fluffy kitten named Cuddles. In contrast, they are Leviathan.
 

Maxx

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Translation: Groupon is about to be sold and re-marketed as Grope-on
 

BloodyIron

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Okay so what about all the other services that do the same sso with Facebook and other services? Like... I dunno... Xbox, PlayStation, Android, uh... Everything?
 

v6maro

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Why even bother suing Groupon, they have enough issues without this. So pointless.
 

katanaD

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Okay so what about all the other services that do the same sso with Facebook and other services? Like... I dunno... Xbox, PlayStation, Android, uh... Everything?

yeah, of all the places that use SSO from facebook.. etc. groupon?
 

stormy1

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So IBM is now a patent troll?
They have been for decades and dont even try and hide it.
https://www.research.ibm.com/patents/

1996
Protecting digital images with watermarking
Putting a digital "watermark" on an image so that it is combined with the image and can clearly be seen by someone viewing the image helps to discourages unauthorized use and copying

2000
Allowing computers to perform tasks when idle
When an idle computer has processing cycles and communication bandwidth available, other computers can send tasks to the idle computer for completion

oh yea here is a good one...not
2010
Earthquake detectors
Collecting and analyzing seismic data detects earthquakes, and allows future earthquakes and tsunamis to be predicted
 

craigdt

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So does IBM produce or actually make anything or just survive off legacy products and acquiring other companies and suing productive companies?
 
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