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January 4, 2018

IBM sues Expedia over patents made in 1980s

Expedia is being sued after IBM claims it has used four of its patents from between 1980 and 2005.

By April Slattery

IBM has filed a lawsuit against online travel giant Expedia, over the use of four patents  dating back to the 1980’s.

The lawsuit was filed last week, accusing Expedia and a number of its subsidiary travel sites of infringing IBM patents regarding how content is delivered, including aspects such as ad technology and sign on processes.

Both website and mobile apps of Expedia’s have been targeted in the lawsuit as well as subsidiary sites including HomeAway,, Hotwire and Orbitz.

IBM sues Expedia over patents made in 1980s

Websites and apps have been using the patents.

The four patents causing conflict between the two companies includes US patent 5,961,601, which dates back to 1996 and covers how to preserve communications over a web browser via a CGU program. Filed in 2005, the second US patent 7,631,346 looks at how to handle single sign-on with a service provider that then uses credentials with other services through the system.

IBM’s third and fourth claims were over patents that were part of the development of Prodigy that IBM helped launch in the 1980’s. US Patent 5,796,967 from 1989 covers how the interface of web-based applications can be used to shift processing tasks from a server to a client PC and Patent 7,072,849 covers how web services can put ads on client machines, dating back to 1988.

In a statement IBM said it has reached an agreement to resolve the patent lawsuit between IBM and The Priceline Group and as part of the confidential settlement, the parties will obtain patent cross-licenses to each company’s worldwide patent portfolio.

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“IBM takes pride in its reputation and track record for innovation.  This agreement further demonstrates the value of our intellectual property that results from this innovation,” said Dr. William Lafontaine, general manager of Intellectual Property for IBM.  “We are pleased this matter has been resolved through negotiation and licensing.”

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IBM’s lawsuit against Expedia was filed in US District Court in Delaware just a week ago and came a day after the technology giant settled a similar claim against Priceline, which IBM has now secured a licensing deal over the same patents.

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