Court launches IBM patent lawsuit against pet food retailer Chewy

  • IBM accused Chewy of violating fundamental web technology rights
  • Court said Chewy’s site, app work does not infringe IBM’s patents

(Reuters) – A judge has dismissed a lawsuit by International Business Machines Corp claiming that online pet food retailer Chewy Inc’s website and mobile app violated several IBM patents, an order says made public Tuesday in Manhattan federal court.

IBM’s patents cover enhancements to website functionality and targeted advertising. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff mentioned Chewy’s online services do not infringe patents.

Chewy, based in Dania Beach, Florida for follow-up IBM last year to avoid a potential lawsuit after it supposedly rejected a $36 million IBM patent license offer. Chewy accused tech giant IBM, one of the world’s biggest patent owners, of charging “exorbitant licensing fees for worthless early Internet patents.”

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According to the lawsuit, IBM said it would seek at least $83 million in damages from the company.

IBM separately won an $83 million jury verdict against Groupon Inc in 2018 for infringement of related patents, in a case that Groupon later paid $57 million to settle.

Chewy’s lawsuit said IBM had also sued other internet-based companies, including Twitter Inc, Airbnb Inc, and Zillow Group Inc, and most of them had “fundamentally given up” before testing the patents in court. court case.

IBM based in Armonk, NY accused Chewy’s patent infringement in response, and said Chewy had “built his business” by infringing his rights.

Chewy’s attorney, Joshua Raskin of Greenberg Traurig, welcomed the ruling, which he said “affirms what we knew all along.”

IBM and its attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rakoff found on Tuesday that one of IBM’s patents was invalid because it covered an abstract, unpatentable idea and that Chewy did not infringe the others because his technology works differently than IBM’s. He had invalidated another of the five patents in the case in November.

The case is Chewy Inc v. International Business Machines Corp, US District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:21-cv-01319.

For Chewy: Joshua Raskin of Greenberg Traurig

For IBM: Karim Oussayef of Desmarais

Read more:

IBM wins $83 million from Groupon in internet patent battle

Groupon to pay IBM $57 million to settle US patent dispute

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