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IP, Patent, Walker Digital

Google Sued Over Daily Deal Business Venture

Google‘s interest in the “daily deal” business was demonstrated by their $6 Billion dollar offer to acquire Groupon (leading to a ridiculously overrated valuation of the latter’s patent portfolio).  Of course, Groupon spurned this offer, opting for an IPO instead.  Undaunted, Google entered the daily deal business on its own, through a service offering called Google Offers.  Late yesterday, Google Offers became the subject of a federal lawsuit in Delaware.

The lawsuit filing provides an example of "Google Offers"

This new lawsuit involves four Patents owned by research firm Walker Digital and is the latest in a series of actions the firm has taken to protect and monetize its patent portfolio.  Though filed separately, the lawsuit will team Google up with Amazon, BuyWithMe, Dealon, and (of course) Groupon who were all also accused of infringing the following patents:

  • 7,039,603: “Settlement systems and methods wherein a buyer takes possession at a retailer of a product.”
  • 6,249,772: “Systems and methods wherein a buyer purchases a product at a first price and acquires.”
  • 6,754,636: “Purchasing systems and methods wherein a buyer takes possession at a retailer of a product.”
  • 7,689,468: “Purchasing, redemption and settlement systems and methods wherein a buyer takes possession at a retailer.”

These patents originated with filings in 1996 and ’97, and began to issue between 2001-2010, and have been cited as prior art for later patents held by IBM, Expedia, Scientific-Atlanta (now Cisco), Amazon, and eBay, among many others.  Google recently lost a jury trial, being found to infringe a patent owned by Bedrock related to data storage methods.  The Bedrock loss could have broader implications for the IT industry in general.

You can view the complaint here:

View this document on Scribd

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Discussion

19 thoughts on “Google Sued Over Daily Deal Business Venture

  1. It must be lawsuits like this one that convinced Google to try to buy up all of Nortel’s patents, for “defensive purposes.” Since Intellectual Ventures started suing, I now completely disbelieve the claims of any business entity that it is buying up patents for “defensive purposes only.” However, even when it does inevitably start suing, Google will likely be able to evade the “patent troll” label (and thus take advantage of judicial preference for “practicing” entities over NPEs/PAEs), since it also engages in R&D. Clever.

    Posted by patent litigation | April 25, 2011, 6:32 pm
  2. Building or developing a Deal of the Day site or DOTD as they are sometimes called does not require any complicated coding, any programmer worth paying for can develop such systems, that is why DOTD sites are easily replicated and that is why everywhere you look there are DOTD sites.

    Now, about this lawsuit, i am not a lawyer but i don’t see the how this will succeed, really, i think this is ridiculous. Does this mean i cannot create/develop a system without getting sued? Enlighten me, please.

    Posted by James | August 11, 2011, 8:22 am
    • “that is why DOTD sites are easily replicated and that is why everywhere you look there are DOTD sites”

      And that is why securing new, novel and non-obvious business process innovations is important to the inventor. Copyright and other “non-legal” protections (such as early mover, etc) are insufficient to adequately protect and reward the creator for being the first to reduce the new process to practice.

      Now, whether the daily deal processes specifically described in the patents were already known, or would have been obvious at the time of the invention is a question that the defendants will surely raise. Ultimately, the court will decide. Hindsight reconstruction of the invention with today’s technology is entirely irrelevant.

      Thanks for reading.

      Posted by Patrick | August 11, 2011, 8:35 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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