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Nearly everyone in Texas has heard of Groupon, which offers customers deals on a variety of products and services in a person's area. Apparently, however, IBM does not think that it has been getting any deals from Groupon. The technology company recently filed a patent law claim against Groupon, alleging that it is infringing on IBM's patents.

Allegedly, when Groupon built its business model, it did so with several of IBM's patents without first obtaining authorization. Supposedly, IBM attempted to sit down with Groupon's representatives to work out a licensing agreement. However, Groupon failed to take part in the discussions and -- according to IBM -- continues to infringe on IBM's patents.

It is claimed that Groupon's infringement is willful and that the company is benefiting from the unauthorized use of the patents without providing any compensation to IBM. This suit is similar to one that IBM filed against Priceline, a company that offers discounts on dining and travel. The specific patents that IBM alleges these two companies are infringing upon was not reported.

It will be up to the judge presiding over the patent law case against Groupon, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, to determine whether the allegations in IBM's complaint are substantiated. If so, Groupon could be ordered to not only pay damages, but to also cease and desist using the patents without authorization. Texas patent holders who find themselves in a similar position might also seek both monetary and non-monetary damages from those who use their patents without first obtaining the right to do so.

Source: CNBC, "IBM sues Groupon over alleged patent infringement", March 3, 2016

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