IBM is suing Expedia, alleging that the popular travel site has for years been infringing on several of its patents, some of which date back to the early days of the internet.
IBM alleges Expedia’s infringements all fall under the umbrella of how online content is delivered, including aspects like ad technology, sign on processes, tracking previous communications with users and more. The lawsuit includes Expedia’s website and mobile apps, as well as its subsidiaries HomeAway, Hotels.com, Hotwire and Orbitz.
“Defendants have built their business model on the use of IBM’s patents,” according to the lawsuit. “Moreover, despite IBM’s repeated attempts to negotiate, defendants refuse to negotiate a license.”
IBM said its attempts to negotiate with Expedia date back to 2014. IBM first contacted Orbitz, which Expedia acquired close to three years ago, about patent issues in 2011.
“Because IBM’s over six-year struggle to negotiate a license agreement that remedies defendants’ unlawful conduct has failed, IBM has been forced to seek relief through litigation,” according to IBM’s suit.
In a statement, IBM said it wants Expedia to acknowledge its patents and compensate IBM accordingly, for the use of the patents.
IBM invests over $5 billion annually in research and development. IBM relies on its patents to protect that investment. IBM has filed a complaint against Expedia for unauthorized use and infringement of IBM intellectual property. Over the past three years, IBM has attempted to conclude a fair and reasonable patent license agreement with Expedia. Our intent is to reach a fair conclusion under which Expedia acknowledges its obligation and compensates IBM for the use of IBM’s patented technology.
Expedia declined to comment.
The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Delaware, came just a day after IBM settled a similar claim against Expedia competitor Priceline. As part of the confidential settlement, the two companies agreed to license their respective global patent portfolios to one another.
“IBM takes pride in its reputation and track record for innovation,” Dr. William Lafontaine, general manager of Intellectual Property for IBM, said in a statement following the Priceline settlement. “This agreement further demonstrates the value of our intellectual property that results from this innovation. We are pleased this matter has been resolved through negotiation and licensing.”
IBM is seeking an injunction against Expedia and its subsidiaries from using the patented technology, as well as up to triple the amount of damages awarded in a jury trial. IBM also “seeks royalties on the billions of dollars in revenue that defendants have received based on their infringement of IBM’s patented technology,” according to the lawsuit.