IBM Asks Jury To Award $167 MM For Former Prodigy Patents

Reporting for Reuters, Jan Wolfe writes:

International Business Machines Corp on Monday asked a U.S. jury to award it $167 million in a lawsuit accusing e-commerce marketplace operator Groupon Inc of using patented technology without authorization.

Desmarais famously left Kirkland & Ellis in 2010 and formed his own firm around a licensing campaign of 4500 former Micron patents. Desmarais also represented Intellectual Ventures in several lawsuits.

As is typical, IBM’s lawsuit is the result of arbitrary hold-out behavior by Groupon:

“Most big companies have taken licenses to these patents,” Desmarais said. “Groupon has not. The new kid on the block refuses to take responsibility for using these inventions.”

Desmarais told jurors IBM is a prolific innovator and seeks to license its patents on reasonable terms. IBM had no choice but to sue Groupon after it refused to negotiate a licensing deal, he said.

IBM claims that complies like Amazon and Google have already licensed the patents for $20-$50MM each.

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