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Groupon Lost 83 Million Patent Battle to IBM

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A United States’ jury awarded IBM Corp $83 million in a patent dispute with e-commerce company Groupon Inc .

A jury in Delaware said Groupon used IBM’s patented e-commerce technology without authorization following a two-week trial.

“IBM invests nearly $6 billion annually in research and development, producing innovations for society,” IBM spokesman Douglas Shelton said in a statement. “We rely on our patents to protect our innovations. We are pleased by the jury`s verdict.”

“We continue to believe that we do not infringe on any valid IBM patents,” Groupon spokesman Bill Roberts said in a statement. “To the extent these patents have any value at all — which we believe they do not — the value is far less than what the jury awarded.”

The jury said Groupon`s infringement was wilful, allowing IBM to ask a judge to award additional damages.

IBM had sought $167 million in damages, saying it developed widely licensed technology crucial to the development of the internet. Two of the patents relate to Prodigy, IBM`s late-1980s precursor to the web.

Groupon argued that some of IBM`s patents should not have been granted because they describe obvious ideas, and said the computing company`s damages request was unreasonable.

Armonk, New York-based IBM has secured more U.S. patents than any other company for the past 25 years.

The case was closely watched in the technology industry because it offered a glimpse into IBM`s efforts to license its large patent portfolio to other companies.

An IBM licensing executive testified that Amazon Inc , Facebook Inc , Alphabet Inc`s Google , LinkedIn and Twitter Inc have each paid IBM $20 million to $50 million as part of cross-licensing deals that gave them access to the patent portfolio.

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