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Priceline maker sues Apple, Facebook, Sony over 100 patents

updated 11:35 am EDT, Tue April 12, 2011

Walker Digital sues Appel, Facebook, more over web

The core company behind Priceline, Walker Digital, today sued over 100 companies in 15 patent lawsuits as a bid to profit from their work. The suit accuses industry veterans like Apple, Microsoft, and Sony, as well as relative newcomers like Facebook, Google, and Groupon, of copying various unnamed technologies. It claimed that many of these companies had shot down "meaningful negotiations" to pay royalties and forced Walker Digital to take action.

E-commerce sites like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart were also named in the suit.

The company tried to play victim in its lawsuit and claimed that few inventors like itself could afford to level such complaints. It also claimed that it didn't believe "less innovation or more litigation" helped anyone despite its own far-reaching case. The company insisted it was surprised when some of those it has targeted had sued it preemptively after being asked to license patents.

Its statements were self-contradictory. The company claims to have built nearly all of its business on patent licensing and to have earned $200 million in total from the business. Although all its patents were developed in-house and not bought from elsewhere, Walker Digital is also exhibiting traditional patent troll behavior and typically licenses out its developments rather than using them for actual products.

The company didn't say what kind of damages it hoped to get from the lawsuit, but most such lawsuits seek an injunction that would ban sites and devices that use the alleged patents. A patent troll lawsuit usually leans on the assumption that most companies are willing to settle for a royalty or a lump sum rather than risk their businesses on a possible loss in court.

None of the involved companies have commented on the lawsuit.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    huh?

    of copying various unnamed technologies.

    You can't sue without naming what they supposedly stole. This is like the SCO/IBM lawsuits over Linux using 'unix' code. The "We know it's in there. We haven't found it. But we know it's in there."

    Although all its patents were developed in-house and not bought from elsewhere, Walker Digital is also exhibiting traditional patent troll behavior and typically licenses out its developments rather than using them for actual products.

    That's not traditional patent troll behavior. That's also the behavior of a research company. There's many companies that invent concepts or products and then just license them out to various others to make 'actual' products.

    Patent trolls just buy patents, wait a while, then sue people (in Texas) over using the same idea.

  1. Geoduck

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +2

    Suing everyone?

    I could see Google or Apple or MS or Amazon violating their patents. But when just about everyone you've ever heard of is accused of violating then it makes me thing that their patents are overly broad or they are trying to claim they apply in an overly broad way. They don't say what the patents are for but let's just say I'm suspicious.

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