5 January 2018
Reporter: Barney Dixon

IBM takes aim at Expedia

IBM has sued Expedia and its subsidiaries for infringing four patents relating to early internet technology.

In its complaint, filed at the US District Court for the District of Delaware on 29 December 2017, IBM accused Expedia of building its business by appropriating IBM’s inventions.

Expedia, which is a fortune 500 company, earned more than $8 billion in revenue in 2016.

IBM claimed that it had contacted Expedia in 2014 to inform them that they were infringing the patents and has since attempted to work with Expedia on a licensing agreement.

The technology company said that it invests “billions of dollars” annually in its research and development programmes and that its library of more than 60,000 patents “benefit society”.

It said: “Given the investment IBM makes in the development of new technologies and the management of its patent portfolio, IBM and its shareholders expect companies to act responsibly with respect to IBM’s patents.”

“IBM facilitates this by routinely licensing its patents in many fields and by working with companies that wish to use IBM’s technology in those fields in which IBM grants licenses. When a company appropriates IBM’s intellectual property but refuses to negotiate a license, IBM has no choice but to seek judicial assistance.”

IBM’s lawsuit against Expedia came only a day after it settled another patent infringement lawsuit against The Priceline Group over the same patents.

Both IBM and Priceline will receive patent cross-licences to each others patent portfolios as part of the settlement.

Expedia didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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