IBM wants $167M from Groupon over alleged patent infringement

The legal battle continues.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
2 min read

IBM sued deals site Groupon in 2016 over four patents.

Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

IBM says it's time for the "new kid on the block" to pay up.

IBM asked a jury on Monday to award the company $167 million in a lawsuit against deals site Groupon for using patented technology without authorization, according to Reuters.

IBM's lawyer reportedly said in federal court in Delaware that Groupon infringed patents involving e-commerce technology that had already been licensed to Amazon, Facebook and Google for between $20 million and $50 million per company.

"Most big companies have taken licenses to these patents," said IBM lawyer John Desmarais, according to Reuters. "Groupon has not. The new kid on the block refuses to take responsibility for using these inventions."

Groupon's lawyer reportedly argued that IBM exceeded the coverage of its patents and claimed ownership of fundamentals of the internet.

"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.

IBM sued Groupon in 2016 over four patents, including a "single sign in" technology and a system that alleviates server loads. 

"Groupon believes its use of the technologies in question is fair and appropriate. IBM's assertions are based on old and inapplicable portions of its patent portfolio -- which they don't even use, and this lawsuit is clearly overreaching," said Bill Roberts, spokesman for Groupon, in an email statement. "We look forward to presenting our side of the matter."

First published on July 17, 9:58 a.m. PT.

Updates, 12:06 p.m. PT: Adds IBM spokesperson statement.

Updates, 2:26 p.m. PT: Adds Groupon spokesperson statement.