International Business Machine Corp. (IBM) has filed a lawsuit against online travel leader, Priceline and its associated websites for infringing on 5 of IBM’s patents to build its own business model. IBM has made allegations that Priceline has constantly refused to discuss a license to the patented inventions of IBM and should pay royalties on the billions of dollars of revenue it generated using them. Priceline declined to comment on the issue.
Two of the patents Priceline allegedly infringed on are from the late 1990s, the third one is from 2006 and a fourth one is from 2009. These patents include technologies relating to advertising, websites logins and tracking what shoppers are going for. Priceline also reportedly used the patented technology on its travel manager website Kayak and the online food outlet reservation tool – Opentable. IBM has filed an appeal in the US Federal District Court to prevent Priceline from exploiting the patented technology and to pay licensing fee on billions of dollars it earned in revenue using the technology.
Priceline had earlier faced similar charges in 2011 from the Artificially Intelligent Computer System Company, Watson, which stated that Priceline had infringed on many of its patents. IBM is the largest US patent holder and has to hardly ever put across its patents for legal examination.
IBM has to now focus on converting new innovations into revenue. In the last three years, its sales have fallen as new technologies like Cloud Computing and Data Analytics haven’t grown at the pace that the demand for company’s hardware and services has come down. Twitter bought 900 of IBM’s patents last year after IBM claimed that Twitter infringed on 3 of its patents.