Groupon has been ordered to pay technology company IBM $82.5 million for wilful patent infringement.
The US District Court for the District of Delaware announced the jury verdict on Friday, July 27.
In March 2016, IBM accused online deals website Groupon of infringing US patent numbers 5,796,967; 5,961,601; 7,072,849; and 7,631,346.
The patented technologies cover online advertising and ways of making it easier for web users to connect to an internet provider, among others.
“Rather than build its business on its own technologies, Groupon has appropriated the inventions of the patents-in-suit,” the complaint said.
According to IBM, www.groupon.com uses the technology claimed in the patents to “implement online local commerce marketplaces to connect merchants to consumers by offering goods and services at a discount”.
IBM said it had repeatedly tried to negotiate a licence with Groupon, but with no success.
Last week, the Delaware jury found that IBM had provided enough evidence to prove that Groupon had wilfully infringed all four of the patents.
The jury also said that Groupon had not proven it had an “implied licence” to practise the ‘346 patent. Groupon was also unsuccessful in proving that the ‘601 and ‘346 patents were invalid.
As a result, Groupon was ordered to pay IBM the sum of $82.5 million.
The four patents at the centre of this litigation have been involved in other disputes for IBM.
In January, WIPR reported that IBM had settled an infringement claim with travel website The Priceline Group over the same patents.
As part of the settlement, the parties obtained cross-licences to each other’s worldwide patent portfolio.
The settlement was made one day before IBM sued travel company Expedia for allegedly infringing the same patents.